Brazil have breezed into the round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 after registering two wins out of two outings.
The Seleccao have rarely looked devoid of attacking flair on their way to 3 goals, creating a multitude of further chances that didn’t find the back of the net or hit the woodwork.
However, a cheeky manoeuvre by their 21-year-old forward Rodrygo seems to suggest that perhaps they could use that extra bit of magic going into their final group-stage encounter against Cameroon and beyond.
Following his nation’s 1-0 win against Switzerland in Group G, Rodrygo was seen doing an interview with former Brazil legend Ronaldo on FIFA+, where the Real Madrid forward spoke of his experience of joining the World Cup squad as a youngster as R9 himself did at USA ’94.
Elaborating further, he talked about his experiences from playing on a high level at Real Madrid since joining at the age of 18 and how it could serve him well going into the forthcoming challenges in this tournament.
Ronaldo was also quite intrigued about the playing conditions of their games so far and also discussed Rodrygo’s contribution leading up to Casemiro’s winner against the Swiss and how previous missed opportunities might have helped the young forward in getting the all-important assist.
Rodrygo featured for 15 minutes against Serbia while coming on as an early substitute in the second half of the latest fixture.
Speaking further about the absence of the talismanic figure of Neymar due to an ankle injury and how it could present itself as an opportunity for Rodrygo, he said that while it is quite a blow for his side, he is ready to take the chance should he be called upon.
“I’m ready, when the coach wants me, I’m there. If it’s in the next game, if it’s afterwards, I’m at his disposal”.
“I’m training well, doing everything right, because it’s a World Cup. At any moment the chance will come. You have to be prepared”, added the former Santos player.
While the numbers for Brazil do not appear all too flattering at this early stage of his career, with a goal and an assist in 9 outings, one should have reason to believe that Rodrygo can indeed deliver provided that he has accumulated healthy stats of 25 goals and 26 assists in 127 appearances for Los Blancos.
The confidence in the forward’s ability must have been given a boost by the 2-time Ballon d’Or winner, who ended the interview with his blessings.
He was quoted as saying, “Go with everything, good luck! The whole of Brazil is rooting for you. Thanks!”
What followed caught the attention of fans across the world, as Rodrygo proceeded to rub his hands over O Fenômeno’s legs and then do the same with his own in what can be described as both a charmingly funny gesture as well as one that shows his reverence towards the former great.
Fans have reacted in a variety of ways to this bit of media gem, with some hilariously referencing Ronaldo’s wretched injury record that affected some of his peak years while at Barcelona.
“Not the knees”, wrote one fan on Twitter, followed by a few light-hearted comments about how Rodrygo is on his way to becoming an absolute beast in front of goal.
The second-highest goal-scorer in World Cup history (with 15 goals to his name) and 2-time winner shared a hearty laugh with Rodrygo upon seeing the latter’s hopes for some of the goal-scoring magic to be passed down to him by the footballing gods.
Whether this translates to actual attacking output from Rodrygo or not, we are certainly here for it and should he come good, it would be hard for the internet not to come back to this moment.
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