In football, certain players ascend to the realm of greatness. One such player is Manchester City’s Rodri.
As a defensive midfielder for Man City and Spain, the 27-year old has cemented himself as one of the games true elites thanks to his unwavering consistency and reliability at the heart of his club and nation’s midfields.
His presence at the Etihad Stadium, having joined the club from Atletico Madrid in 2019, has further fuelled the club’s era of dominance in the Premier League. Since his debut in the Community Shield in August 2019, Rodri has been a clear favourite of Pep Guardiola’s, with the manager essentially building his whole midfield around the brilliant Spaniard.
On top of being the building blocks from which Guardiola’s all-conquering City team has been built, Rodri has also been a surprisingly consistent attacking threat too. To date, the holding midfielder has bagged himself a very impressive 16 goals and 14 assists during his time at the Etihad Stadium.
And while plenty of these goals, assists, and generally vital contributions came in his first two title-winning seasons at the club, it was during the 2022/22 campaign in which Rodri made his most telling impact for Man City.
In the club’s greatest ever season, Rodri was undoubtedly the MVP.
Throughout Man City’s run to a Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League treble, Rodri was truly outstanding and totally reliable – appearing in all but one of his team’s games throughout a gruelling campaign. Throughout all of these games, Rodri was brilliant and, when it mattered most, also a match-winner.
His Player of the Match performance in the final was a testament to his exceptional skills, as his precise winning strike sealed the European Cup for the very first time for the Citizens.
“What a holding midfielder. There are no words to describe – with or without the ball, the presence he has and how clever he is with the ball and he attacked with the ball the space when he saw it was there so yeah, an incredible, fantastic game,” Pep Guardiola lavished praises on Rodri in a post-match press conference after a fantastic display, comparing him to iconic players he had previously managed.
His impact is not limited to club football alone however. Rodri has been equally remarkable for Spain on the international stage as well.
Making his debut in 2018, Rodri has become an integral part of the Spanish midfield, once again giving a Playing of the Match showing in a final – this time the Nations League – to help his team secure silverware.
Rodri is, in many ways, the perfect modern defensive midfielder: a player that a manager can build a winning team around.
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