Valencia striker Rodrigo on links with move to Madrid
Rodrigo spoke to the gathered media as part of his duties while with the Spanish national team and was asked about the rumours about his potential departure to Atlético.
Stories over recent weeks have linked one of Valencia's star players to Atlético Madrid, the team that finished just two places above them in LaLiga, among others. With an exciting Champions League campaign ahead for Los Che, the subject of a transfer was one of the questions put to the 27-year old in a press briefing at the Spanish national team's base, just a couple of weeks before the start of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
What does it mean to play up front with Diego Costa?
"He is a player who has an imposing character and who transmits this in his game. He was key for Atlético Madrid in the Europa League and I am sure he will be key for the national team.
"He plays quite similar to Zaza [Rodrigo's striker partner at Valencia]... Here we play 4-3-3. It's difficult to see two strikers playing in the forward position at the same time."
Where do you see yourself playing in the near future?
"My plan is to continue with Valencia. We had a great season, and we have a major challenge ahead with the Champions League. I feel important and am happy there. I've been saying it for months and I maintain this."
Do the constant rumours distract you?
"No, we are very focused here. It has been hard work for us to get into the final squad. Nothing will take our focus off what is really important, which is everyone's dream: to enjoy the tournament and do something special."
Rodrigo also went on to talk about the important part new coach Marcelino has played in the player's own development and that of the Valencia team and also how him being able to adapt to various roles, rather than being a simple number nine, may have helped him take a slot in Lopetegui's World Cup squad.