"Vinicius is a delight to watch; he's playing like the star he is"
Rodrygo, Brazil's star player at the South American Under-20 Championship, spoke to AS about his performances and heaped praise on his Real Madrid team mate.
Rodrygo Goes couldn't be happier. He's played a key role in guiding Brazil's U20s to the final stage of the 2019 South American Under-20 Championship in Chile - he also provoked the penalty which helped the team beat Bolivia in Friday's final group game in Rancagua.
Friday's win came as a massive relief to Rodrygo and the rest of the Brazil team. Getting through the group stage was a nightmare. The team shone early on in the tournament but were set back by a goalless draw to Colombia and defeat to Chile.
“I think I should have got two penalties”, Rodrygo told AS with a smile, before adding, “I did a quick turn and a Bolivia defender made contact and in the second half something similar happened with the goalkeeper but for the ref, it wasn't a foul. But I don't cause any problems, I respect the decisions the referees make”.
Colombia, Brazil's next rivals
Rodrygo is fully focused on Brazil's Under-20s campaign in Chile and the team's next game, against Colombia on Tuesday. But he was quite at ease chatting exclusively to AS about his new club and looking ahead to starting life in Spain.
Real Madrid have been closely following your progress at the tournament. Have you been following what the team has been doing since competition resumed after Christmas?
I've watched the last few games and I think they have a great side. But I've been focusing more on this tournament and the national team.
What do you think of the moment Vinicius is in at Real Madrid?
‘Vini’ is a brilliant footballer. He's a delight to watch; he's playing like the star player he is.
Have you thought about the partnership you could build with him when you arrive in Madrid?
Not yet. There'll be time for that later.
Are you happy with the level of your game right now?
I'm very happy, because everything has been so difficult. The level of all of the teams at this South American Championship has been fantastic. Both groups went down to the last games to see who went through to the next round. On a personal level, I was really pleased with the game I had yesterday and against Venezuela. I was able to score and play a decisive part. I'm happy with my game, but I'd still like to improve.