I don’t know if Rodrygo is better than Ansu Fati and the truth is that I don’t care. I really like the Barcelona youngster for the personality that he shown at just 16 years of age and because you can see footballing conditions that are as great as his confidence. Comparing him with Rodrygo doesn’t make sense, although it’ll be impossible for many to avoid the temptation.
As such, the only comparison that I’m going to make is between the 231 minutes Fati has been given by Ernesto Valverde and the 23 minutes Rodrygo has been given by Zinedine Zidane. With the former, we know a bit more about how great he can be because we’ve been able to see him. With Rodrygo, we’ll still have to wait.
But what is there to wait for? Why must we wait?
Until his Wednesday night goal, Rodrygo was starting to enter suspicious territory, similar to what happened to Vinicius at the beginning of last season. In modern football, if you’re a signing and you don’t play straight away then the equivalence is made that you must not be playing because you’re bad. But often at big clubs, what happens is that you’re not playing because you’re young, not because you’re bad. There’s a need to stay quiet as you wait for your turn. There are hierarchies with the stars in these dressing rooms.
Until Wednesday, Real Madrid fans weren’t demanding to see Rodrygo because they had hardly ever seen him before. But his brief performance on Wednesday was admired. He has the ability to take players on, to threaten and to strike the ball with precision.
Now it’s over to Zidane. Will he give Rodrygo regular minutes as part of his ‘B team’? Or will he ‘protect’ Rodrygo by leaving him mostly with Castilla?