Pedri, with the substitute shirt of the Spanish team.ADIDAS / EL PAÍS
Pedro González López is Pedri in Madrid, Barcelona and Tegueste. He plays for Barça , he is concentrated with the Spanish team and yet he still lives in Tenerife. Jorge Valdano assures that Leo Messi also gets up in Castelldefels, trains at the Joan Gamper Sports City and plays at the Camp Nou and then sleeps in his Rosario neighborhood. And it is also known that Andrés Iniesta never stopped circling the tree on the track of the Fuentealbilla school, in Albacete, while he was competing with Barcelona or now that he lives in Japan. Pedri is asked every day about his profile with Iniesta and his feelings about sharing the ball with Messi and he always responds politely with his idols: “I am and I have to be Pedri.”
Pedri, Messi and Iniesta are joined by the The streets and the academy, the game and the method, the disorderly upbringing and the regulated training – Valdano would insist – and naturally distinguishes them by their singularity at a time when football tends towards uniformity, towards cones, the tape measure and statistics. , the database that does not escape the study of any computer, and, nevertheless, forgets the gaze of the talent detector, few as refined as Manuel Rodríguez Marrero, the director of recruitment and training at UD Las Palmas, the coach who noticed Pedri and did not stop seeing how he played in Tegueste. "The more you look at him, the more new and good things you see in him," he reflects. "You have to see footballers live," says Rodríguez Marrero, also known as Tonono.
The Canarian school
Many Manolos and Antonios are called Tonono in the Canary Islands. Also to Rodríguez Marrero, like the mythical Antonio Alfonso Moreno, Tonono or Afonso, one of the illustrious footballers of the islands, both born in Arucas. Tonono, the coach today, naturally saw his neighbor Tonono play, and he is an emotional slave to the soccer of Juan Guedes, Germán Dévora, José Manuel León or Paco Castellano in the same way that he feels close to the way Pedro feels the game Rodríguez, Juan Carlos Valerón, David Silva, Roque Mesa or Jonathan Viera. The cadence and the pause, the calm and exquisite football, the pleasure of savoring a play as Eduardo Galeano would say. Pedri is not altered either, it seems that he is not moved, he simply lives the life of Tegueste.
The landscape is pleasant; the climate, benign; and the people, simple and friendly; the best expression of the north of Tenerife. It has no access to the sea, surrounded as Tegueste is by the municipality of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, and yet it is famous for its procession of boats, also the cradle of the Canarian fight, a good place to walk and have a red wine in the food house served by Pedri's family at the beginning of Prebendado Pacheco street. “There are still children on the islands who play in the street, in the squares and also on the beaches; They are like the Argentine pastures ”, argues Tonono. "Stillness and creativity are more important than any instruction manual", explains the technician, all the more reason for not taking Pedri out of his environment, letting him grow up to 15 years old in Tegueste.
"The child must be observed carefully Directly and relentlessly for a while, with more eyes than reports, while his wit is stimulated, ”says Tonono. “He has to play in open spaces, feel free and happy in his habitat, discover the game, play with meaning. Visual learning is as decisive as respect for personality. We cannot robotize football. Knowledge must be fostered without giving up emotion and the street as a university ”, he continues. “Tell me how do you dribble a cone? Dribbling is deception and cones don't think. Pedri's football is very natural and simple, he makes everything that is very difficult very easy ”, he adds. Afterwards, training is added to the task of recruitment and development, time to apply Laureano Ruiz's method.
The influence of Laureano
Tonono has been a devotee of Laureano Ruiz since he read the book From the base to the top , 1986). He has followed his work and repeatedly resorts to the Cantabrian technician to improve his task at UD Las Palmas. It is no coincidence that the Canarian team has had Manolo Márquez, Sergio Lobera, Paco Herrera or Quique Setién as coaches. "Laureano is a wise man, an intellectual, who has injected rationality into the game and has designed the best training works," says Tonono about the coach who organized Barcelona's grassroots football in the seventies before the arrival of Johan Cruyff. And it is that Laureano Ruiz is considered the ideologue of the Barça style that the Dutchman and Pep Guardiola later developed.
Thus it is understood that Pedri ended up having a Barcelona player profile without having to go through La Masia after residing in the yellow house controlled by Tonono with the advice of Laureano Ruiz. Pedri did not even move to a flat when he debuted with the first team but continued in the residence of the promises who arrived in Las Palmas. Nor has he given up the family company in Barcelona – he lives with a brother – and buys in the supermarket while showing his friends the latest publication by Laureano Ruiz entitled The Authentic Barça Method.
“Play with a lot of sense, have a break and one last A beautiful pass, he also knows how to change the direction of the game and his oriented controls are exquisite ”, says Tonono about Pedri. "He occupies the field very well, dominates the spaces and his capacity for effort is so high that he attacks and defends equally," he continues. "And, above all, it is distinguished by its rotated reception." It is the sign of distinction of the best steering wheels of the Barça. Only midfielders who know how to turn while receiving the ball, and therefore do not face or back, triumph at the Camp Nou. And Pedri turns like Xavi and like Iniesta. “He has great room for improvement because he listens and learns without stopping. He has to finish more ”, ends Tonono.
Maybe when Pedri scores a goal, Sara Socas, also from Tegueste, will dedicate a rap to him. "The talisman of Tegueste", as the journalist and writer Juan Cruz has baptized it. Pedri simply laughs, calm and serene, as if he wanted to be a young 18-year-old citizen of Tegueste who plays for Barça and is in the national team.
You can follow DEPORTES on Facebook and Twitter , or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter .