|Desc||Rodrygo’s enormous potential was obvious from the moment he made his professional debut for Santos at just 16 in November 2017. He even ranked at No.5 in last year’s NxGn list. However, even he has been taken aback by the speed of his rise to the top. After all, we are talking about a teenager who was shaking with nerves when he first met Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane. Even if the 19-year-old can be overawed off the pitch, we have yet to see a shred of evidence of him being fazed on it. Since arriving at Santiago Bernabeu last summer, the €45 million (£40m/$50m) signing marked his Liga debut with a goal after just 93 seconds on the pitch and scored a perfect hat-trick on his first Champions League start, with his history-making exploits earning him two Brazil caps|
|Org||Brazil National Team|
|Club as Player||Real Madrid|
2019 06 18 Retrieve
[Rodrygo arrives at the Santiago Bernabeu having played the first four games of Santos’ league campaign, scoring one goal] I think everyone who knows me since I was a child knows I’ve always been a Real Madrid fan. I always told my dad I’d play for Real Madrid and when they came I didn’t have any doubts at all.
2019 10 25 Retrieve
[An unpleasant trip to Galatasaray on the cards for Real Madrid’s must-win Champions League clash, inclusion in Zinedine Zidane’s final squad came as no surprise, yet nobody expected a starting debut to be handed to the young Brazilian in such a vital tie] Do you know that dream of every Brazilian boy? Today it was realized in my life!! Thank you Lord! For the opportunity, I only have reasons to thank you as always!! Thanks to my family and everyone who cheers for me! Let’s go for more …
2019 11 06 Retrieve
[When previously asked what he would offer Madrid, he simply stated] I’m a fast striker: I score and I dribble
[It was even put to him upon his arrival in the Spanish capital that he might become ‘The Neymar of Madrid’] There is only one Neymar; there won’t be another. I would just like to be the Rodrygo of Real Madrid.
2019 11 07 Retrieve
[Based on Rodrygo’s reaction after scoring a Champions League treble, it seems safe to say he won’t be getting carried away anytime soon] It’s a dream come true to hear the Bernabeu sing my name. I’m happy and it’s a very happy night, but I have to stay calm and be relaxed. Everything is going much quicker than what I expected when I arrived at Real Madrid but I’m trying to stay calm and continue working day by day
2019 11 07b Retrieve
[Rodrygo goes says he is progressing faster than he expected at Real Madrid after scoring a perfect hat-trick on a ‘dream’ night against Galatasaray] It is true that everything is going much quicker than what I expected when I arrived at Real Madrid. It is a very happy night. It is a dream come true to hear the Bernabeu sing my name. But I have to stay calm, be relaxed and continue to work day by day
Playing with Karim makes everything easier. He’s an amazing player and I’m very happy to play alongside him. I’m sure that what they’ve put on the ball is very nice because my team-mates are good people and they give me lots of confidence
2019 11 12 Retrieve
[Rodrygo is making all of the right noises at Real Madrid] I’m really happy with the way I’ve started at Real Madrid. It couldn’t have gone better. Everything has gone really well. Things have moved even quicker than I expected, and hopefully I can continue in this vein. I haven’t really had much adapting to do, because the Brazilians who were already here have given me all the support you need when you go to another country. And Madrid… I love Madrid! The climate, the way of life… it reminds me a bit of Sao Paulo. If I can, I’ll stay here for good
I’m really excited to be here. I’m going to work hard to get an opportunity and hopefully the gaffer decides to play me. I’m raring to go
2019 11 13 Retrieve
[Rodrygo wants to avoid pressure of replacing Ronaldo at Real Madrid] Being able to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid was a dream of mine and it’s a shame that he left because now I think it would be very difficult to play with him. I am still a very young player to talk about filling the place left by someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, who is one of the greatest players in the history of the club – if not the greatest. I don’t want to weigh myself down with the pressure of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo.
[The youngster has made a big impression in the Spanish capital but is surprised by how quickly his career has taken off] You always try to make sure you are fully prepared so that things turn out well, but I could never have imagined that everything would happen so quickly.
It’s all come as a huge surprise to me. Only a short while ago I was hoping to make my Champions League debut […] and maybe at the most score a goal. Scoring a hat-trick like I did was something nobody expected. So I can’t really explain how I felt after the game. All I could do was enjoy a special, once-in-a-lifetime moment.
Learning the ropes as a footballer isn’t just about what’s done on the training pitch. There is a big mental part too, preparing yourself so that success doesn’t go to your head and knowing how to handle fame and to not be presumptuous.
On that side of things, it helped me a lot that my father was a footballer, and that gave me a head start on the mental part. I watched him go through things that are happening to me now and so I know I can’t let all of this attention go to my head.
[Rodrygo was left on the bench for Madrid’s 4-0 win over Eibar on Saturday but is primed to make his senior Brazil debut] I feel fulfilled. It has always been my dream. Since I was a boy I have dreamt about representing the national team and playing alongside the best players in the world – players whose careers I have been following for a long time. So being here gives me happiness that I can’t begin to put into words. Everything that has been happening in my life makes me feel very happy
2019 12 10 Retrieve
[Rodrygo says he was awed by Zinedine Zidane when he met him for the first time] When I met Zidane, I started shaking. I used to watch videos of him when he was a player and he’s now my coach. It’s crazy. I was delighted to meet him but I was so nervous
[Rodrygo indicates a willingness to spend the rest of his career at the Bernabeu if everything goes to plan] I’m really happy with the way I’ve started at Real Madrid. It couldn’t have gone better. Everything has gone really well. Things have moved even quicker than I expected, and hopefully I can continue in this vein. I haven’t really had much adapting to do, because the Brazilians who were already here have given me all the support you need when you go to another country. And Madrid… I love Madrid! The climate, the way of life… it reminds me a bit of Sao Paulo. If I can, I’ll stay here for good
2020 03 31 Retrieve
[Rodrygo win NxGn 2020 awards for world’s best teenage talents] There is no point in winning the award, but not following up on the field. I think this award motivates me a lot, gives me a lot of confidence. I hope that happens, that I continue this current season very well
2020 04 02 Retrieve
[Understandably, one of the biggest challenges teenage hopefuls from South America and elsewhere face is that of adapting to a new culture thousands of miles from home] It is difficult, it goes from player to player, from person to person. Some will be able to adapt faster, others will not. I think that when Vini arrived, he told me he was a little alone, because in the pre-season Marcelo and Casemiro weren’t there yet. He, then, was the only Brazilian. The beginning then turned out to be a little difficult. When I arrived, there were the five Brazilians here: me, Casemiro, Marcelo, Vinicius and Militao, so that helped me a lot
We have this dream of making history here at Real Madrid and also in the national team. We have a very good partnership, we met from Brazil, but because he is from Rio and I am from Sao Paulo, there was a certain distance and we just talked on the internet and via WhatsApp. Today we are together every day, our friendship strengthens more and more. We have a lot of things in common and we have dreams that we hope to realise up front.
[On Reinier he added] I think they are wanting to set up a trio here or a Brazilian quartet up front. Let’s see