REAL MADRID

Rodrygo says he was nervous before first Real Madrid start

The Brazilian was included in Zidane's team for the first time this season as Real Madrid travelled to Turkey in a must-win game against Galatasaray.

Rodrygo says he was nervous before first Real Madrid start
MIQUEL A. BORRAS

Zinedine Zidane's line-up against Galatasaray had one big surprise in it: Rodrygo Goes earned the first start of his Real Madrid career. The 18-year-old had played 43 minutes until Tuesday night at the club (19 against Osasuna and 24 against Mallorca). 

Rodrygo was considered a Castilla player this season with the occasional jaunt with the first team. He has already played two full games for Raúl's side against Langreo and Rayo Majadahonda. In the few minutes Zidane has offered him, however, he has shown his quality; with almost his first touch against Osasuna he slotted hom to give Real Madrid a 2-0 advantage.

The absence of Bale on the right opened the door for the Brazilian in a game Real Madrid simply had to win. It was the most important game of the season to date and Zidane had plenty of options to fill that gap; Vinicius, Brahim, Jovic and James... but he went with the teenager without a single start to his name. 

"I feel really happy and content," he said after the game. "And really thankful for the opportunity to realise a dream."

"I did what Zizou asked me to," he said. "The same as all of us, to go and enjoy it. Zidane asked me to enjoy it, to do my defensive work and with the ball to simply play and enjoy it."

The Brazilian says he wasn't expecting a start but enjoyed his first full game at Real Madrid. "I leanred I was starting today," he said. "In the chat before the game, when the teamsheet was given. I was very nervous, but I enjoyed it. Yeah, I was surprised to be starting, I wasn't expecting it."