Here’s why Rodrygo hasn’t been able to nail down his spot in the Real Madrid XI

Real Madrid, Rodrygo Goes (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Rodrygo Goes (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Rodrygo Goes (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Rodrygo Goes (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Extraordinary numbers in the UCL, but disappointing numbers in LaLiga

There’s no doubt in saying that Rodrygo’s favourite competition is the UEFA Champions League, something that can be understood from his stats in the competition:

Champions League: 7 goals and 7 assists in 938 minutes at 1.34 G/A per 90 mins

LaLiga: 3 goals and 7 assists in 2579 minutes at 0.35 at G/A per 90 mins

His numbers in the Champions League are staggering, and it just talks about the class of the player. The performances in the biggest stage of European club football will always be appreciated by the fans, as they talk a lot about the ability of a player to perform when it matters the most.

But his numbers in LaLiga, tell you another story. Of course, numbers don’t show everything, but from what I’ve seen, he has never hit the level that he had shown in the Champions League, in LaLiga.

The reason behind this contrast in performances can be explained by comparing the type of oppositions he is used to facing in both the competitions. In the Champions League, you’ve got top clubs of European leagues, who are willing to fight for their progression to the next stage and can afford to open up the game to some extent.

But in LaLiga, 50% of the games(or even more) are against clubs who are willing to park the bus and give their 100% to win a solitary point against the mighty Real Madrid. Such oppositions can’t allow a player to play their natural game and it becomes difficult for a winger to enter the box and try and find some breathing space.

It explains the difference in performances, but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse. It is a game of football at the end of the day, and the objective of any player would remain the same, that is to give their best and try to win the game for their club. Unfortunately, Rodrygo hasn’t been able to do that for Real Madrid with just 3 goals in almost 2 years.

He does have a reasonable number of assists, but the overall number isn’t satisfactory. As an attacker in Spain’s biggest club, you are expected to score a handful of goals. Of course not 20+ goals every season, but at least a handful of goals. His assist numbers are pretty decent, but they are still not that good enough to classify him as a ‘creative winger’.

A player is expected to show better consistency in a competition that lasts for 38 games where you get to play week in week out when compared to a competition in which you would get to play a maximum of 13 games. The perception of the competition’s importance is different at Real Madrid, as Champions League is given an obvious preference by the fans. But that preference is only in the case of measuring the success of a season in terms of the silverware. A player is asked to perform well in every game, irrespective of the competition.

The inconsistency in the league can also be considered as a reason why Rodrygo’s struggle in becoming a definite starter for Real Madrid.