Sunday, June 26

Rodrygo backs himself to become ‘best in the world’

Real Madrid forward Rodrygo believes he can become the ‘best in the world’ over the coming years.

After initially struggling to shine at the Santiago Bernabeu following a €45m move from Santos, the 21-year-old enjoyed a more prominent role last season, making 49 appearances in all competitions and scoring nine goals.

This included a game-winning brace off the bench in Real’s Champions League semi-final comeback victory against Manchester City.

Although he has a long way to go to replicate the numbers of the elite group of forwards in world football, Rodrygo revealed to ESPN that he is confident of bridging the gap.

“[Zinedine] Zidane said that one day I would be the best in the world. Ancelotti also spoke. I try to train and evolve every day to get there,” he said.

“I was very happy. I have this dream and I know that if I dedicate myself each day I can get there.”

Listen now to 90min’s brand new podcast, Talking Transfers, with Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth. On their most packed show to date, the guys discuss Liverpool’s signing of Darwin Nunez, how Marc Roca joining Leeds could allow Kalvin Phillips to depart for long-time admirers Manchester City, the latest on Manchester United’s pursuits of Frenkie de Jong & Antony and much more.

Rodrygo has already earned five caps for Brazil, and he went on to explain that national icon Neymar – who also came through the ranks at Santos – has promised to give him the famous number ten shirt at international level when he retires.

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“I didn’t even know what to say to him . I was embarrassed, I giggled and didn’t even know what to say properly. I told him that he has to play some more, that I didn’t want to now and stuff. And then he had a laugh,” he added.

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