As Pep Guardiola said recently, Rodrigo really can do everything.

The Spaniard is very much at the heart of everything Guardiola wants his team to do.

The hero of last season’s final has played this campaign just as impressively to date.

He starts attacks from deep, picks passes in the final third and contributes with goals of his own.


It’s little surprise then that, after eight games in this season’s UEFA Champions League, he tops many of Opta Vision’s metrics that judge a midfielder’s impact on the game.

We have won all of our matches so far in the competition this term, extending our European unbeaten run to 22 matches in total.

As our quarter-final tie with Real Madrid approaches, there’s no doubt our No.16 will be one of the central pillars of Guardiola’s plan.

As we’re about to explore, Rodrigo is leaving every midfielder in Europe in his shadow when it comes to the key metrics for a player in his position.

The fact that our man is leading in so many areas despite being rested for two and a half of our eight matches so far is further testament to just how outstanding he has been.

Line breaking passes

Rodrigo has always been a leader in terms of number of passes completed.

He currently tops the statistic in the Premier League with 2,856 and has been in the top three every season since arriving at City.

He’s second for passes completed in the Champions League with 593, only behind Ruben Dias.

137 of those passes have been line breaking passes, which means to play a forward pass that beats a defensive line of at least two opposition players.

This is nine more than next best Toni Kroos and way ahead of Achraf Hakimi and Ruben Dias in third on 104.

21 of those have led directly to a shot, which shows that Rodrigo is contributing at the top end of the pitch too. That’s six more than anyone else has done so far in the competition.

In fact, 48 of his line breaking passes have been in the final third, 10 more than his nearest competitors.

Under pressure

Rodrigo spends most of his time in the most crowded area of the pitch. Being at the very centre of things, he’s often under extreme pressure from opposition midfielders.

He’s received the ball under High Pressure a whopping 431 times in his five and a half appearances so far, nine more than Achraf Hakimi.

That’s led to 430 touches under High Pressure from an opponent.

High Pressure is defined by Opta as an opposing player within two metres approaching within the intent of winning the ball back or limiting passing options.

In order to succeed in that environment, you have to have a calm approach as well as exceptional technical ability. Rodrigo has both.

His 367 passes under High Pressure is 71 more than Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich in second place. 37 of those have been in the final third, which again is 10 more than Toni Kroos.

Here’s hoping Rodrigo can again be at his magnificent best over these two legs with Real Madrid.