Pedro Rodriguez has come under fire in Spain after the Chelsea star admitted his frustration over a lack of playing time in the ongoing European Championship. The former Barcelona attacker said even said it would not be "worth" his time to stay with the national team if he remains on the bench.
The 28-year-old has been a regular for Spain since helping La Roja to the World Cup in 2010, scoring 17 goals in 59 appearances for his national side.
The Canary Islander switched from Barcelona to Chelsea during the summer of 2015 after falling behind Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi in the Nou Camp pecking order. The move was meant to help Pedro secure more playing time and force himself into Vicente del Bosque's plans for Euro 2016.
However, his chance of making the tournament took a further knock after he failed to make the impact expected during a poor season at Chelsea.
Many in Spain were leaning on Del Bosque to hand an opportunity to Saul Niguez, Isco or Sergi Roberto instead, but instead the manager opted to stick with the tried and tested Pedro. However, he has only played eight minutes at Euro 2016 so far, coming on as a late substitute against the Czech Republic before being unused during the impressive 3-0 victory over Turkey.
The mood around the Spanish camp has bounced back to its best after the Turkey match, with Nolito, David Silva and Alvaro Morata leading the attacking line and Andres Iniesta excelling in the middle of the park.
However, Pedro has threatened to harsh those vibes with some shocking statements in an interview with Cero.
"I had other expectations when I arrived here and it hasn't been what I wanted," the former Barcelona star said. "To take this role [as a substitute] is difficult for me, so If I don't have continuity then I don't think is worth it to keep coming to [the national team] just to be part of the group."
Spanish fans and journalists alike have quickly attacked the Chelsea player on social media, suggesting that Del Bosque should send Pedro back home.
"Inopportune words from Pedro. After his season at Chelsea he can't demand too much," tweeted Cadena Ser reporter Edu Polo.
"Saul at home, watching Pedro's quotes ... # group," said popular Monica Marchante.
"Pitiful Pedro. He has lost to his mind and has been ungrateful. He should not be with the team after his painful season," added Manolete, from AS.
"Very surprised by Pedro's words. I could have never justified it but [furthermore] his season has been bad," Julio Maldonado added.
Pedro has been forced to apologise for his comments at a press conference, explaining he has already spoken with his teammates to explain the situation but claiming he has no regrets about what he said.
"If I need to rectify my position, I apologise to fans if they were offended. But I do not understand how it has set all this off," Pedro said. "At no moment have I said I did not want to be here, that I wanted to go, or that I was uncomfortable here. I prefer to be on the pitch than to not play. But I am very happy to be here and I will keep working and fighting to help the group."