What did Rodri learn from Simeone and Guardiola?

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Rodri, the Manchester City player, expressed his desire for a defensive midfielder like himself to win the Ballon d'Or, emphasizing the importance of sending a positive message to aspiring players in that position. He acknowledged that legendary midfielders have rarely won the award but believes it would be meaningful for both the winner and young players in that role.

In an interview, the former Atletico Madrid player commended his past coach, Diego Simeone, and his current coach, Pep Guardiola. Rodri credited Simeone for teaching him a new dimension of football, emphasizing competitiveness and strength in challenging situations. Under Guardiola's guidance, who signed him for 70 million euros in 2019, Rodri noted improvements in both tactical and mental aspects.

Despite his ambition to win the Ballon d'Or, Rodri, at 27 years old, expressed contentment with his fifth-place finish in the 2023 edition. Reflecting on his career, he highlighted the significance of defensive midfielders and their role as a stabilizing force for the team, especially in tense situations.


Recalling his historic goal against Inter Milan in June 2023 that secured Manchester City's first Champions League title, Rodri vividly described the moment and the ensuing celebration. He emphasized the importance of composure and control in crucial moments, reinforcing the message to teammates that they could regain control of the match.

When discussing the best defensive midfielder in history, Rodri pointed to his former La Roja teammate, Sergio Busquets, currently with Inter Miami. He admired Busquets for his remarkable consistency and first touch, expressing a desire to emulate those qualities. Rodri highlighted his own distinctions, such as greater physical impact and a tendency to pass the ball more in the final 30 meters.