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Real Madrid starlet’s father reveals the hard work behind his first senior goal vs Atletico



Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

While Real Madrid might have failed to get all three points against Atletico Madrid on Saturday, the match will be a special occasion for a certain Alvaro Rodriguez.

The Uruguayan youngster scored his first-ever senior goal for Real Madrid on Saturday, helping his team salvage a point minutes after coming on as a substitute.

It comes after he had set up a goal for Marco Asensio in another league game against Osasuna a week ago.

Standing at 1.93 m, Rodriguez showed that he can be a force to be reckoned with in the air with his goal against Atletico as he leapt higher than everyone to bundle his header back into the net against Los Rojiblancos.

Speaking to MARCA after the game, the 18-year-old’s father, Coquito Rodriguez revealed how he had trained his son from a very young age to make use of his height and physique and be a major threat in aerial battles.

“I wanted him to be a footballer and I trained him from the age of five. I started from the very basics, putting the ball on his head, playing games with him…. He grew up and when he was 10 years old I was able to start developing him in things like aerial leaping,” he said.

“We were training on a pitch, the Palamós pitch, where there were a lot of his friends. He would get distracted, and I would get his attention. I even got his friends to work with me and Álvaro, and they would throw the ball to him.”

Further delving deeper into the training drills, Coquito Rodriguez explained how he explained the intricacies of aerial battles to the Real Madrid starlet and the fact that they used to do close to 50 drills per day.

“I would explain to him why you have to head the ball with your arms half open. That way, when he jumped, he would put his elbow or forearm and the opponents wouldn’t destabilise him. We did a lot of repetitions every day: 40 or 50 headers a day.”

All that training and effort paid off big time for Alvaro Rodriguez last night when he scored his first-ever senior goal for Real Madrid.

“He has been training that jump he did yesterday since he was 11 years old. We did jumps with the right profile, the left, with the forehead… always automating the jump. And all that training is starting to pay off, first at Girona and then at Real Madrid,” his father added.

“He’s going to score a lot of headed goals in his career and it’s going to be hard to beat him in the air.”

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Real Madrid News

Manchester City join race to sign €40 million-rated Real Madrid target



Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Manchester City have now joined the ever-growing list of admirers for Celta Vigo midfielder and Real Madrid target Gabri Veiga, reports Jack Gaughan of the Daily Mail.

The 20-year-old midfielder has emerged as one of the breakout stars of La Liga this season, having impressed with his goalscoring abilities from the centre of the park. Indeed, the youngster has notched up nine goals in La Liga and his exploits have made the giants of Europe sit up and take notice.

Real Madrid are said to be interested in Veiga’s services heading into the summer. The Merengues have Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Dani Ceballos on expiring contracts and it is unlikely that all three will be renewed, especially with Jude Bellingham being on the agenda.

In case of Modric and Kroos, even if they stay, it will likely be for only a season at the most. Hence, Los Blancos could require more than one central midfielder come summer, with Veiga emerging as an option.

The 20-year-old was also attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid. Now, Manchester City have also jumped on the bandwagon of clubs interested in Veiga’s services.

The Cityzens, who are battling Real Madrid for Bellingham as well, are set to lose Ilkay Gundogan in the summer when his contract expires. Meanwhile, Bernardo Silva’s future is also far from certain, thus necessitating the signing of another midfielder.

Veiga has a release clause worth €40 million in his contract with Celta Vigo, which should not be a problem for either Real Madrid or Manchester City.

Celta Vigo president Carlos Mourino recently admitted that the midfielder could leave the club in the summer, saying:

“We don’t want to sell Gabri Veiga, but they are going to buy him from us. And we can’t do anything there. We know some of his offers and it is impossible to reach them.

“There are several teams behind Gabri. Real Madrid? They haven’t asked us, we don’t know if they will have called the player. Of the top 10 in the Premier League, four have asked about him.”

It will certainly be interesting to see whether Real Madrid are prepared to go all out for Veiga’s signing or decide to entirely focus on their pursuit of Bellingham.

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