Rodrygo Goes: How Real Madrid Youngster Became Football’s 'Mr Clutch'

Rodrygo Goes: How Real Madrid Youngster Became Football’s 'Mr Clutch'

  • Rodrygo came off the bench to score a wondergoal for Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey
  • Ten minutes after coming on, the Brazilian sensation notched an amazing solo goal to give Real Madrid a lifeline
  • Los Blancos eventually won the match to progress to the semi finals

One week is not a thing in the life period of a human being, but as far as a professional footballer is concerned, it can be a chasm.

It was only seven days ago at the Estadio de la Cerámica when Rodrgyo Goes received public reproach from Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti for refusing to shake his hand during their hard-fought 3-2 victory over Villarreal.

Asked by journalists after the game about Rodrygo's show of peevishness, Ancelotti - who was sighted chastising the 21-year-old - disclosed via The Real Champs: “I told him not to forget to greet me when he leaves.”

Rodrygo Goes, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid
Rodrygo scored a stunning solo goal to draw Real Madrid level in Thursday's Copa del Rey quarter-final against Atletico Madrid. Credit: @espn
Source: Getty Images

Ancelotti tried his possible best to be anything other than pleasant and amiable in front of the cameras, but his message was clear: Rodrygo was benched against Atletico Madrid for his attitude at Villarreal.

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In reality, Los Blancos found it difficult to break Diego Simeone's side for much of the game. After coming through the most gritty period in the quarter finals and semi finals of their famous Champions League victory last season, the Los Merengues exhibited one of their worst displays in the first half and trailed to an Alvaro Morata strike.

So, Rodrygo was introduced from Siberia to save Madrid from defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Samba boy didn't disappoint. He picked the ball from the centre and dribbled past multiple defenders before driving into the box, beating Jan Oblak with a cool strike at his near post.

His twisting and winding dribble left Axel Witsel on the floor, before Mario Hermoso also made a failed attempt to tackle the Brazilian.

But, despite hardened contest from the Atletico Madrid players, Rodrygo's exquisite strike was the most toothsome part of his extemporize banquet; a composed toe-poke that left Jan Oblak wrong-footed and the Madrid fans in awe.

From that moment, Diego Simeone and his charges should have left the pitch instantly, got changed, and gone back to their families. Their chances of becoming victorious were slim; Rodrygo’s latest clutch moment had seen to that.

Madrid went ahead to win 3-1, but before that, Ancelotti had revealed to the press how important it is when his team were in transition. That was a direct response to the outcry over the benching of veteran Luka Modric and his partner in crime Toni Kroos.

Even so, the Italian gaffer's decision to bench Rodrygo on Thursday evening was undoubtedly more a disciplinary decision than anything else. Thankfully, the ex-Santos prodigy responded in the best possible fashion.

Rodrygo surely still makes the fans of Chelsea shiver after his sensational goal upend their Champions League aspirations in April last year. The Brazilian struck twice in dying embers to break the hearts of Manchester City and made Pep Guardiola tremble on the touchline.

Producing consistent clutch moments is not easy to come by, but putting up splendid performances in the toughest matches should be prized and honoured. And, with his mesmerising finish against their City rivals, Rodrygo showcased that possessing this quality can even close week-long chasms.

Ancelotti denies feud with Rodrygo

Sports Brief earlier reported that Carlo Ancelotti has downplayed any rift with Brazilian attacker Rodrygo.

Madrid came from behind to beat The Yellow Submarine and progress in the tournament. As noted by Marca, Villarreal took a 2-0 lead into the halftime break, but Madrid rallied to win the game 3-2.

The talking point came in the 56th minute when Rodrygo was replaced with Marco Asensio. The Brazilian did not look happy, and Ancelotti was then seen talking to the player on the bench, leading many to believe that there was trouble in paradise.