Rodrygo: ‘Best version of myself’ brought Madrid back from the dead


Real Madrid star Rodrygo Goes has admitted that his success at Manchester City was his “best version” in the UEFA Champions League as he led the European champions 13 times in the finals.

Rodrygo had scored a crucial goal against Chelsea in the quarter-finals and needed to make another save in the last four.

Real Madrid were still 4-3 on aggregate when the winger was introduced to the bench 22 minutes from time in the second leg, only a strike by Riyad Mahrez left Carlo Ancelotti’s two men behind.

It seems to be a lost cause, but Real Madrid are not facing such a defeat – at least not this season and not in this tournament.

Rodrygo came on for Karim Benzema with less than one minute of normal playing time, before moving on for another 91 seconds later.

Those goals took the game over in extra time when Benzema’s penalty – won by a striker under Rodrygo’s ground – sent Madrid 6-5 on aggregate.

Benzema’s tenth goal in the playoffs tied Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 2016-17, but it would not have happened without Rodrygo, who has already scored seven of 10 goals in his Champions League home games.

The Brazilian midfielder became the first Madrid player to score two goals in a Champions League game since Gareth Bale scored twice in the 2017-18 final against Liverpool. It was the last time Los Blancos won the tournament, but they are still at the top when they face the same team.

“I’m very happy to be able to score two goals in the semi-finals and to give Madrid a place – where they are – the Champions League final – and win it,” said Rodrygo.

“I did not hear what my colleagues were saying to me because I could not believe what was happening.

“We lost the game, my first goal in the 90th minute was dead, and that is what happened.

“That is my best version for me in the Champions League, and I hope I can continue to score more points.

“In this shirt we learn to fight to the end and it always happened. We conceded a goal and almost died but with my first goal we started to believe because we also fought in other games. and the second came.

“From now on, we are looking at Liverpool. We have two more LaLiga games we can use to prepare for the finals.”

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