Real Madrid starlet Rodrygo Goes has opened up on the pressure of replacing club legend Cristiano Ronaldo. The 18-year-old recently scored a hat-trick for Madrid in a 6-0 win over Galatasaray and is all set to make his senior debut for Brazil in the international break.
“Being able to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid was a dream of mine and it’s a shame that he left because now I think it would be very difficult to play with him,” Rodrygo said while in conversation with the media ahead of Brazil’s encounter with Argentina.
“I am still a very young player to talk about filling the place left by someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, who is one of the greatest players in the history of the club – if not the greatest. I don’t want to weigh myself down with the pressure of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo.”
The teenager then went on to expand on how his start with Real Madrid has been.
“You always try to make sure you are fully prepared so that things turn out well, but I could never have imagined that everything would happen so quickly,” he said.
“It’s all come as a huge surprise to me. Only a short while ago I was hoping to make my Champions League debut… and maybe at the most score a goal. Scoring a hat-trick like I did was something nobody expected. So I can’t really explain how I felt after the game. Al I could do was enjoy a special, once-in-a-lifetime moment.
“Learning the ropes as a footballer isn’t just about what’s done on the training pitch. There is a big mental part too, preparing yourself so that success doesn’t go to your head and knowing how to handle fame and to not be presumptuous.
“On that side of things, it helped me a lot that my father was a footballer, and that gave me a head start on the mental part. I watched him go through things that are happening to me now and so I know I can’t let all of this attention go to my head.”