Rodrygo Real Madrid 2022-23Getty

Rodrygo exclusive: Real Madrid star reveals transfer agreement with Barcelona & admits Casemiro is 'very much missed' at Santiago Bernabeu

  • Brazilian moved to Spain in 2019
  • Appeared to be heading for Camp Nou
  • Has won seven trophies at the Bernabeu

WHAT HAPPENED? The 22-year-old Brazil international completed a switch to Spain from Santos in his homeland back in 2019, with €45 million (£40m/$48m) worth of faith being invested in his potential by La Liga heavyweights. He could, however, have ended up on the opposing side of a fierce Clasico divide, with Barcelona making the first move for his signature before Real Madrid stepped in and pipped their arch-rivals to the hottest of prospects.

WHAT THEY SAID: Rodrygo has told GOAL of when he first became aware of the Blancos’ interest: “When my father told me the news... I always tell this story. I had two shirts: one for Barca and one for Real Madrid and I had to choose. It was very easy for me to choose. But it was all agreed with Barcelona, it was a surprise for me, I didn’t expect Real Madrid to come. It was a scare but then it was one of the happiest moments of my life.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Rodrygo has gone on to win seven trophies with Real, including the Liga title and a Champions League crown, with a star-studded squad enjoying considerable success. The Blancos have not been able to retain the services of everybody, though, with another Brazilian – midfield anchorman Casemiro – leaving for Manchester United in 2022. Rodrygo said when asked how big a miss his fellow countryman is in Madrid: “In everything, in everything. He is very much missed for us, because he always helped us a lot both on the pitch and off it. Because we are young and we need a lot of things and he, because he’s been with us for a long time, just like Marcelo, they both always helped us and we miss them both.”

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Rodrygo, Al Hilal v Real Madrid, Mundial de Clubes 2022Getty Images

HD Casemiro Real MadridGetty Images

Rodrygo Neymar Brazil World Cup 2022Getty Images

WHAT NEXT? Real are trailing Barca in the 2022-23 La Liga title race, but they have won the Club World Cup and remain in the hunt for Copa del Rey and Champions League honours. Rodrygo is determined to secure more medals and says he will have no problems taking penalties as part of that quest despite missing a crucial spot-kick for Brazil in their World Cup quarter-final defeat to Croatia in Qatar. He added: “Yes, I’m always there to take responsibility. Like in the World Cup. When they asked who wanted to take the kick I was there and I will always be there. I’m never going to shirk my responsibilities.”