Pedro has completed his hefty split in Italian soccer. The Football World Cup winner parted ways with Roma to join arch-rivals, Lazio. The former Barcelona and Chelsea star will remain at the Stadio Olimpico until the 2021-22 season, but will then move from the Giallorossi to the Biancocelesti. He will reunite with his former Stamford Bridge coach Maurizio Sarri, who will wear shirt number 9 after his controversial move to Lazio.
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Why is Pedro moving on?
The 34-year-old was first linked with Roma in the summer of 2020 after his five-year spell at Chelsea came to an end. He made 40 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring six goals, but fell out of favor with Mourinho’s arrival in the Italian capital.
The Spaniard was immediately put on the transfer market, there was no place for him in Roma’s pre-season plans, and he was reportedly released as a free agent. The reason is that Roma is desperate to get rid of his salary, as they want to cut costs. His contract runs until 2023, and Pedro has now signed a two-year deal with Lazio after passing a medical.
Who else has crossed the Roma divide?
Pedro is the first player in 36 years to move directly from Roma to Lazio. In 1985, goalkeeper Astutillo Malgioglio was the last to make such a switch, and four years earlier Carlo Perrone went the other way. More recently, Angelo Peruzzi, Roberto Muzzi, Aleksandar Kolarov, Sinisa Mihajlovic, and Diego Fussell were on the other side of a clear dividing line, but none of them moved directly from one opponent to another.
Luigi Cairoli was the first player to play for both Roma and Lazio. He scored the first goals in the first division for Roma and later joined Lazio. Pedro, who won almost everything in his distinguished career in Spain and England, is the latest addition to a relatively short list and will hope to quickly convince any doubters once he puts on his new jersey.
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