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Cristiano Ronaldo: Rodrygo on comparison to Real Madrid legend and key to fast start at Bernabeu

The Independent logo The Independent 13/11/2019 Jack Rathborn
a man holding a ball © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

Rodrygo has distanced himself from being compared to Cristiano Ronaldo after his electric start to life at Real Madrid.

The Brazilian youngster struck a Champions League hat-trick against Galatasaray and already has five goals in six appearances for Los Blancos.

But the 18-year-old admits to being disappointed at never playing with Ronaldo at the Bernabeu, following his move to Juventus.

“Being able to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid was a dream of mine and it’s a shame that he left because now I think it would be very difficult to play with him,” Rodrygo said.

“I am still a very young player to talk about filling the place left by someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, who is one of the greatest players in the history of the club – if not the greatest.

“I don’t want to weigh myself down with the pressure of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Rodrygo also revealed the key to his bright start at the Bernabeu and the influence of his father Eric, a former footballer who featured in the lower leagues in Brazil.

“You always try to make sure you are fully prepared so that things turn out well, but I could never have imagined that everything would happen so quickly,” he said.

“It’s all come as a huge surprise to me. Only a short while ago I was hoping to make my Champions League debut... and maybe at the most score a goal.

a person holding a ball: Rodrygo scored a stunning hat-trick (Getty) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Rodrygo scored a stunning hat-trick (Getty)

“Scoring a hat-trick like I did was something nobody expected. So I can’t really explain how I felt after the game. All I could do was enjoy a special, once-in-a-lifetime moment.

“Learning the ropes as a footballer isn’t just about what’s done on the training pitch. There is a big mental part too, preparing yourself so that success doesn’t go to your head and knowing how to handle fame and to not be presumptuous.

“On that side of things, it helped me a lot that my father was a footballer, and that gave me a head start on the mental part. I watched him go through things that are happening to me now and so I know I can’t let all of this attention go to my head.”

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