‘There is only one Neymar… I want to make my own story’: Real Madrid star Rodrygo brushes off comparisons to the PSG superstar and admits he has always felt the ‘weight’ of living up to his fellow Brazilian
- Real Madrid teenager Rodrygo has discussed links between himself and Neymar
- The winger started his career with Brazilian side Santos, just like the PSG star
- Rodrygo says Neymar is an ‘idol’ but insists that he wants to be his own man
The Brazilian teenager is making a big impression in LaLiga having played 26 times for Zinedine Zidane’s men last season, scoring seven goals in their title-winning year, and his displays have led some to hail him as the next Neymar.
Rodrygo started his career at Santos before getting a big-money move to Spain, just like the PSG star. The youngster admits he has always felt pressure to live up to the hype but is keen to shut down those links and focus on carving out his own career.
Real Madrid star Rodrygo insists he is not the next Neymar and wants to ‘make his own story’
He said there was ‘only one Neymar’ and has lived with ‘weight’ of comparisons to the PSG star
‘From the beginning of my career when I started at Santos, they already compared me as the “new Neymar” and with Robinho, I always had that weight over me,’ he said, as reported by Goal.
‘I always said that I wanted to be Rodrygo and make my story. Robinho and Neymar are great idols of Santos and of all the places where they played. I’m just starting out and I think there is only one Neymar.
‘I always had that weight over me, but I just want to be Rodrygo.’
Both Neymar and Rodrygo started their career at Santos in Brazil before moving to LaLiga
They played against each other as Real Madrid faced PSG in the Champions League in 2019
It’s no surprise that Rodrygo, 19, was touted as a future superstar considering he signed a promotional deal with sports manufacturer Nike at the age of just 12 – becoming the youngest athlete to sign with the sports giant.
After making his Santos debut aged 16, he went on to play 80 times for his boyhood side, scoring 17 goals and convincing Madrid to splash out £40million for his signature last year.
He has also made an impression on the international stage, receiving his first Brazil call-up last year and since picking up three caps – the last of which came as a substitute against Bolivia last week.
The teenager has made a big impression so far with three caps already for the Brazil team
Rodrygo said he was excited to prove his worth in a squad brimming with quality and is determined to impress manager Tite.
‘I think it is very important to have a good level, we all know that we have excellent players in my position,’ he added. ‘It is very important that when it is my turn to play I do well and do what Tite asks of me in training and before each game.
‘It is important that I have continuity in my work to continue being summoned in the national team.’