Pedro surprised by starting role

  • By: Simon Stone, Press Association Sport Chief Football Writer, Durban
  • Last Updated: July 8 2010, 11:10 BST

Spain striker Pedro has admitted he was surprised to start Wednesday night's World Cup semi-final ahead of Fernando Torres.

Pedro - surprised to get the nod over Fernando Torres.

The Liverpool forward was dumped to the bench by coach Vicente del Bosque after failing to score a single goal in South Africa.

Pedro repaid his manager's faith by producing an excellent performance as the Euro 2008 winners booked a first final appearance thanks to Carles Puyol's powerful second-half header.

The 22-year-old is now expected to keep his place for Sunday's clash with Holland at Soccer City, and this time it won't come as a shock.

"I was a little surprised to start," said Pedro.

"But thankfully I become involved in the match. I am very happy with the way we played and our progression to the final."

Torres surprise demotion will not have done much for his mood at a time when his Liverpool future is the subject of such hot debate.

Strangely enough, he could have got that long-awaited goal last night if Pedro had not been quite so selfish.

As Spain broke in the final minutes had Pedro squared to his more experienced team-mate on the edge of the Germany box, Torres would only have had Manuel Neuer to beat.

Instead, Pedro opted to go on his own and was robbed by lone defender Arne Friedrich.

"I was alone and had Torres to my side," accepted Pedro.

"Perhaps I had too much confidence in myself."