Real Madrid are enjoying a considerably quieter summer than their rivals in Catalonia. Following the decision of Kylian Mbappe to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, Los Blancos decided they would double-down on what they had in attack.
A big part of that is the fact that Los Blancos are banking on the development of Brazilian Rodrygo Goes. The 21-year-old came up big for Real Madrid in last year’s Champions League victory, scoring late goals against Manchester City and Chelsea.
Much of the talk about Real Madrid centred about their ability to handle pressure and even the likes of Rodrygo, in spite of his lack of experience, operated well where others might have crumbled. Speaking to UEFA in an interview carried by Real Madrid’s official website, he explained his outlook.
“Playing under pressure is more fun. It’s no fun to play with nothing at stake, especially when we’re talking about competitive sports. Having that pressure is a good thing”.
Those words illustrate the incredible atmosphere that Real Madrid have created in the Champions League which allows them to perform miracles like those of last season.
Rodrygo did acknowledge just how fast life has arrived though.
“I have to say to myself sometimes: ‘My God, I’ve won the Champions League! It’s still hard to believe that I’ve won it. It was always one of my biggest dreams: playing for Real Madrid and winning the Champions League. I’ve managed to already do it at the age of 21. It’s difficult to digest the fact that I’ve actually managed to do it. I’ve not only won the Champions League, I’ve won LaLiga twice and the Spanish Super Cup twice. I don’t think it could have been any better.”
Last season Rodrygo scored 9 goals and made 10 of them, but will hoping to take the next step this season. Carlo Ancelotti mostly used him as an impact substitute and Rodrygo will want to become the third forward alongside Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior. His greatest issue might be in the big games, where Fede Valverde has been used as a more defensively sound option.