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Barcelona at St George's Park: Pedro says Burton venue can be England's La Masia

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 31, 2014

By David Broome

  • BIG HITTERS .... Barcelona's (left-right) Gerard Pique, Marc Bartra and Xavi during a training session at St George's Park.

  • SAFE HANDS ... Barca keeper Claudio Bravo during training at St George's Park.

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PEDRO Rodriguez is a player who knows a thing or two about world-class training facilities, and he says that St George's Park could help England to re-establish themselves on the international football map.

The Barcelona forward came through the Catalan youth academy at La Masia, which has produced talents such as Xavi, Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Pep Guardiola, Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique – to name but a few.

It was with the intention of replicating the success of the likes of La Masia, as well as several similar institutes around Spain, France, Germany and Italy, and ending the national team's now 48-year wait for international honours, that the national football centre was established in Burton.

Barca have become the latest team to train there, following in the footsteps of Romanian champions Steaua Bucharest, German outfit Mainz, and preceding Portuguese giants Porto, who visit next week.

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"The facilities are amazing, and everybody has been very impressed with the welcome we have received at St George's Park," said Pedro.

"The training is fantastic, the rooms are excellent and the weather is ideal to train in every day.

"We are trying to train as hard as possible.

"Being able to stay here and not going abroad, for example to the States, is better because the team can train better, train twice a day and at the end of the day, that will benefit us physically and tactically."

England crashed out of the group stage of the World Cup in 2014, and have not gone beyond the quarter-finals since 1990.

Pedro says that a facility such as St George's Park is a good start, but that more is needed for the Three Lions to get to the same level as the leading countries such as Spain.

"Everybody knows how impressive the facilities are here," said the 27-year-old.

"And that helps to get excellent results.

"The thing they need now is that the managers have the confidence to give players the chance to shine."

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