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Barcelona icon hails Real Madrid midfielder: “Reminded me of Steven Gerrard”

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Photo by PEDRO UGARTE/AFP via Getty Images

For the better half of the last decade, Luis Suarez tormented Real Madrid’s defence in every El Clasico. The Uruguayan, aptly nicknamed El Pistolero, was known for his killer instinct in front of goal and etched his name into football history as the only player to outscore Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a season at their peaks.

After a short stint at Atletico Madrid, Suarez closed the curtains on his career in Europe earlier this year and moved to Nacional. He remains a key member of Uruguay’s National team where he shares the dressing room with Federico Valverde.

The Barcelona legend spoke to MARCA recently where he shared his thoughts on Valverde’s growth as a footballer. Speaking about the midfielder’s debut for the National team, he said,

“When Fede Valverde made his debut with the National Team in 2017, I said that he reminded me of Steven Gerrard.”

Having the right environment is crucial for any player to develop his game. Suarez stressed the benefits of being surrounded by the best players in the world and said that Valverde’s astronomical growth was influenced by that factor too.

“Fede Valverde has made great progress, surrounded by big stars. It did him a lot of good.”

In just eight games this season, the 24-year-old has scored four goals and provided two assists. Though traditionally a midfielder, Carlo Ancelotti has found a way to deploy Valverde as a winger this season as the results are a testament to the setup’s success.

Both players are expected to represent La Celeste in the upcoming FIFA World Cup and will look to justify their nation’s perennial tag of being giant killers. 

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Real Madrid News

Rodrygo talks about teaming up with Kylian Mbappe: “A dream to play with the best”

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Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Image

Real Madrid forward Rodrygo, who is currently training with the Brazilian national team for the Copa America in the United States, expressed his excitement about the prospect of playing with Kylian Mbappe. 

Rodrygo emphasised that it would always be a pleasure to team up with Mbappe, whom he considers one of the best players in the world.

Rodrygo mentioned that it would be a great honour for him to play alongside the future Real Madrid forward. 

“For me, it’s a pleasure to play with Mbappe, I always made it very clear. He’s going to help our team a lot, he’s going to help make it even stronger than it already is,” said the forward as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

What about Rodrygo’s place in playing XI

Mbappe and Rodrygo are set to join forces at Real Madrid starting next season. Interestingly, the Frenchman’s arrival could potentially impact Rodrygo’s playing time. 

Despite the competition, though, the forward remains optimistic and prefers to focus on his current role with the Brazilian national team rather than speculate about his future at the club.

Rodrygo is eager to play alongside Kylian Mbappe. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

“It is always a pleasure, but now is not the time to divert the focus, I want to be focused on the national team. 

“Mbappe is also playing the (European) championship with his national team and I want to be focused here.

“But always making it clear that it is a pleasure and a dream to play with one of the best in the world,” he added.

Rodrygo is focused on Copa America

As Rodrygo prepares for his first Copa America with Brazil, he aims to demonstrate the same high level of performance that he has consistently shown with Real Madrid in recent years. 

He recalled a memorable moment from the 2021/22 Champions League semifinal against Manchester City. 

In that match, Rodrygo scored two last-minute goals that forced extra time, ultimately securing Real Madrid’s place in the final, where they defeated Liverpool.

Rodrygo hopes to replicate such extraordinary performances with the Brazilian national team during the Copa America. 

His main goal with the national team is to have impactful moments that contribute to the team’s success, similar to his crucial role in the Champions League semifinal.

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