Rodrygo Goes has admitted that he has not enjoyed playing the number nine role for Real Madrid since the departure of Karim Benzema in the summer.
The Brazilian youngster joined Madrid for £38.5m (€45m) in 2019 and is now an integral part of Carlo Ancelotti’s squad. Rodrygo won two La Liga titles, one FIFA Club World Cup and one UEFA Champions League with Los Blancos, impressing as a starting right winger.
Following the shock departure of Benzema – the legendary striker joined Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad – and the signing of attacking midfielder Jude Bellingham, a tactical change from Ancelotti saw Rodrygo and teammate Vinicius Junior become the club’s de facto starting strikers.
While Vinicius has impressed in his new role, scoring four assists in six starts, Rodrygo has struggled somewhat to adapt to life as a number nine.
The 22-year-old managed just one goal all season and returned in mid-August against Athletic Club. Since that game, Rodrygo has gone ten games without getting on the scoresheet.
Discussing his recent barren form during his international duty, Rodrygo admitted he did not like his new role at the club: “I’ve always made it clear that I have the ability to play on the wing, not like playing as a number nine, but in Madrid I have to.
“For Brazil, I have more freedom of movement,” he added.
Despite Rodrygo’s poor form in front of goal, Madrid have impressed in the opening months of the 2023/24 season thanks to Jude Bellingham’s stunning goal-scoring comeback. The England star scored a record 10 goals in his first 10 games at the club to fire Madrid to the top of La Liga.