Zinedine Zidane again relied on young Rodrygo as a starter, serving his fourth consecutive game from the start at age 18, and the boy did not let him down. If before Betis he was withdrawn and not very participatory, in his debut in a Champions League match at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Brazilian was a whirlwind from the first minute. I knew something good was coming.
He signed a double before the ten minute, and having thrown the penalty that Sergio Ramos finally stayed, he could have pulverized who knows how many records: hat-trick in 15 minutes, in his debut at the White Colosseum, with only 18 years .. .
Rodrygo did not throw the penalty that meant 3-0 against Galatasaray, but he followed his own. Biting, dancing, smiling.
Before the break, he took a throw-in to the Turks and put a measured pass to the heart of the small area to score Benzema. The French celebrated it as if the goal was the former Santos, and that meant his number 49 in Europe with Real Madrid, which tied the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano.
But the French striker would end up doing something better than celebrating the Brazilian’s assistance. The veteran striker would return a perfect wall in the 92nd minute of the game so that Rodrygo, with all the tranquility of the world, touched toe under Fernando Muslera to finally sign his hat-trick.
There was no record of any kind, because Raul – a player with whom the Brazilian is already comparing in the club and in the press – was 100 days younger than him when he scored three goals for the Swiss Grasshopper in 1995; bestial. But Rodrygo seemed to care little. He celebrated his third goal like the other two, as if this were another day at the office. That official sense of football and the goal was perhaps what Real Madrid lacked since Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus
His teammates trust him, something very important for an 18-year-old boy who is starting. But if that trust exists, it is because the Brazilian has earned it. His game offers no doubts, because even if he is young he is risky, brave and winner. It is not lost in unnecessary flourishes, nor does it play for the stands. It will be for that reason, for not disentangling, that he hardly celebrates the goals he scores.
His face denotes an unprecedented seriousness in everything he does, a lot of concentration, but that does not mean that his football is fun, different. His way of being contrasts with the Vinicius Jr., much more outgoing Carioca, all smiles, always looking for the camera. At the same time, he is also much less effective than his friend Rodrygo. We have rarely been able to verify the famous Brazilian dichotomy Sao Paulo (Rodrygo) – Rio de Janeiro (Vinicius) in such a clear way in the same European team.