Manchester City are on the hunt for domestic and European glory. One of the most praised players of Pep Guardiola’s selection is midfielder Rodri. He turned the debate to himself with his incredible strike into the Bayern Munich net. There has also been no shortage of comparisons between him and his counterpart Kimmich in the weeks leading up to the game. The recent nomination to the all-star team of this year’s English Premier League published by EA has only added to the attention the Spaniard is enjoying. Meanwhile, it’s not that long ago that the Rodri era was feared by all.
the 41-time Spanish international was in fact replacing Fernandinho in the midfield of Guardiola’s squad. Remember Fernandinho? That’s the Brazilian shield without whom Guardiola’s system supposedly couldn’t work. However, with the current dream of English experts about the second ever treble by the team from the Islands, no one will remember him.
How did Rodri become the unquestioned building block that underpins arguably the best team in the world? Considering the three years the two players spent together in Manchester, one would like to say gradually. However, the opposite is true. Rodri was thrown into the water with shouts of “swim!” as soon as he arrived.
Replacing the Brazilian club legend after glorious seasons that saw City finish on 100 and 98 points, Rodri did not have an easy position. Concerns and criticism about him caused the team to experience a slump in their first year with their reinforcement from Atlético Madrid.
They finished second behind Liverpool with a big loss, gaining only 81 points and 12 extra goals compared to the previous year. The reaction was to call for Fernandinho, then starting in the centre of defence, to return to his original role.
With the defence strengthened especially by the arrival of Dias, there was room for this the following season. But injuries and advancing years limited Fernandinho’s minutes. Rotating with Rodri, possibly complementing him in the midfield pairing, concerns about his successor did not dissipate despite winning the league title. Its achievement was made easier for the Citizens by Liverpool’s relegation in particular.
The mood only began to change last season. The last one the two players shared at the Etihad Stadium. Returning above the 90-point mark and clinching the title ahead of chasing Liverpool, Rodri played a pivotal role in his team’s success.
Bringing the number of goals conceded below 30, the gradual relegation of the increasingly unavailable Fernandinho to the role of central defender and a seven-goal contribution in the Premier League lifted his status.
Continuing his role as one of the best ever midfield conductors, Rodri is far more than that. One of the best ever midfielders in aerial duels, few midfielders win the ball for their team more often.
In no way is he behind Fernandinho from Manchester City’s centurion season today. Rodri has grown into Fernandinho’s boots so much that one would almost forget their original wearer. He only slipped out of them last summer.
Sources: Transfermarkt, Understat, Fbref, Manchester City
Football4 days ago
Career of Paul Pogba may soon be over. Doping case could keep him out of football for years
Tennis4 days ago
Still no Alcaraz! 2024 will belong to another tennis player
Football6 days ago
James Rodriguez on Real Madrid: The first season was excellent. I scored 40 goals and 42 assists, I was great
Football7 days ago
Guardiola is angry with the referee! I don’t like it. The player stood up, the referee gestured for him to continue, and after the pass he stopped the game…