Mens Team

‘Lucky’ Rodrigo learning from the best

Rodrigo believes he has reaped the benefits of working under two coaches who played in his position in Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone.

The Spanish midfielder lauded his current and former boss as two of the world's best managers ahead of City’s Champions League tie with Dinamo Zagreb and admitted he feels fortunate to have played for two men who know what it takes to be a defensive midfielder at the highest level.

Pep’s experience in the role, Rodrigo says, has made life easier for him as he adapts to a new league and a new style of play.

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“They are two of the greatest coaches in the last 10 years because of their success, work and dedication,” he said.

“It’s been a pleasure working with those two. Today I am with Pep and I am trying to learn from him.

"I am lucky to have trained with these two coaches.

“It’s easier for me to understand what he [Guardiola] teaches me.

“Football has changed over the years, but he has lived the same experience. He can translate his ideas and I can take them in easily because he played the same position.”

Guardiola agreed and also paid tribute to Simeone as he acknowledged that City have benefited from the Argentinean’s coaching of Rodrigo.

“Obviously me and Mikel know a bit more about our position than the winger position,” added the boss.

“I never made a dribble in my career as a player so it’s more difficult for me to know what to say.

“When Rodri came here he had been with other managers and we took over what he learned from other experiences.

“I am pretty sure it’s our benefit that he worked with Simeone in the past because he played in the position and knew exactly what to do.”

Fernandinho is another who Rodrigo has been learning alongside.

The Madrid native settled quickly in Manchester, but feels he needs to adapt to English football and also to being deployed as a lone defensive midfielder.

His Brazilian team-mate has established himself as one of the Premier League’s top operators in that role and Rodrigo was full of praise for a player he thinks is vital to City’s success.

“From the first day, he has always helped me and taught me this position,” he added.

“This league is not what I’m used to and it’s not easy in this team.

"He has a lot of experience and has been a top level player in Manchester. I have lots to learn from him.

“He is a leader and one of the most experienced players in the team. He is going to help us to win the competition.

“We need these guys. I’m young, I can be a good player, but I don’t have that experience.”