A lot of young footballers dream of playing for Real Madrid at some stage of their career. The reason is simple, Real Madrid is the biggest club in the history of football and every player who plays for them gets a chance to become a footballing superstar. Not everyone gets this golden opportunity in their career, and even the ones who get the chance don’t find it easy to succeed at Los Blancos.
Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes are two such players who got that chance at the young age of 18. Vinicius found it really tough to make the best use of the opportunities he got, but he turned his fate around since the beginning of the 2021/22 season and is one of the best wingers in Europe at the moment.
The wait for Rodrygo’s explosion has been a long one as well, but the wait might have finally come to an end. Rodrygo has broken out as a Real Madrid star, and his recent performances in the last month or so, including Wednesday’s sensational brace against Manchester City, suggest the same.
Rodrygo had a great start to his Real Madrid career, scoring on his unofficial debut as well as his official LaLiga debut, but he couldn’t get going. Even in his third season with Real Madrid, Rodrygo spent half of the time fighting for his spot, but he could never nail down his spot. He simply lacked the consistency required to be a regular starter for Real Madrid and had his own weaknesses.
Consistency and big-game performances are clear indicators of Rodrygo’s progress
But now, there are clear signs of consistency and improvement in his overall gameplay, as he is sticking to his strengths on the field. And coming to his consistency, Rodrygo has 6 goals and 2 assists in his last seven games for Real Madrid, while also winning three penalties for the team. These are incredible figures and have been very useful for the team in the most decisive phase of the season. This momentum will help him start the next season on a stronger note, and if he manages to replicate similar performances as a regular starter, there would be no stopping him.
All these make Rodrygo a good player, which is something we knew from the beginning. But what make him a breakout star are his big-game performances. Throughout his Real Madrid career, his numbers in the Champions League have been significantly better than his LaLiga stats, which is completely opposite to the case of many other footballers. He has been a consistent player in the Champions League, with a total of 10 goals and 7 assists in 1153 minutes, and scored a hat-trick in his second start in the competition, at the age of 18.
There were those regular flashes of brilliance, and his performances were always decent. But decent performances aren’t enough for a player to become a star and gain a lot of recognition. For example, Rodrygo was one of the game changers in the 2nd leg against PSG in the Round of 16, and won the ball right after kick-off, in the build-up to Karim Benzema’s third goal of the night. Madridistas took note of that brilliant little cameo, but unfortunately, he didn’t get a lot of appreciation for that performance from the whole world. He had to do something bigger, and he had to produce a performance that can never be ignored by anyone.
He scored the equalizer against Chelsea in the second leg, but that was rightly overshadowed by Luka Modric’s outrageous assist. He leads Real Madrid’s comeback in the next game against Sevilla, with a goal and an assist, and scored a brace against Espanyol in Real Madrid’s league winning the game, but performances in LaLiga go unnoticed by the footballing world in general.
And then he scored this scintillating brace against Manchester City in the Champions League, right at the death, against the best-organized football team at the moment. The surprise in the commentators’ voices after witnessing Rodrygo’s blitz, and the eruption of all those Madridistas in the Bernabeu after his goals were too loud to be ignored by any football fan.
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Rodrygo is a breakout star, and Madridistas always expected to see him become the club’s next superstar. The only missing thing was that the footballing world in general didn’t know a lot about Rodrygo’s talent. And now, after his performance against Man City, they all know that this young Brazilian is a star and is here to set the field on fire in the coming years.