Real Madrid’s 5-1 win against Valencia was really about the two Brazilian stars in the final third. It was an all-round performance, no doubt, but the contributions from Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo clearly stand out as game-changing.
The 23-year-old scored two goals on the night from his three shots on target while his younger compatriot played a part in four of Los Blancos’ five goals.
Speaking to the media after the final whistle, an elated Rodrygo commented on a plethora of subjects. Commenting on the team’s overall performance first, he said,
“We have played another perfect match. We let in a goal at the end, but it was a very good game.”
“On a personal level, I am very happy with the two goals and the assists. Another perfect night,” he added on his spectacular night.
While Real Madrid have won almost every game they have participated in this season, a lot was made about their inability to win them convincingly. Saturday’s result at the Bernabeu was a firm reply to those with such reservations.
“We are very happy. We needed a match like that, with a lot of goals. We hope to continue like this in the next meetings.”
On a personal level, the Brazilian enjoyed his best night of the season, scoring two goals and providing as many assists in just 90 minutes. Commenting on his performance, he said,
“My game has also been perfect. It’s always good to score. I scored in the previous match and doing it again makes me very happy, givinh assists as well. I always want to contribute, I’m here for that.”
Rodrygo has struggled all season in front of goal, but the manager’s faith in him has paid off in recent games. The youngster revealed the secret behind his resurgence.
“You have to always be calm. Before, I was missing this calm to finish. Today I was calm, with a good head, and that’s why everything went well.”
The game against Valencia was special for many reasons, but what made it a spectacle to witness was the combination play between Vini Jr and Rodrygo.
“Now we are at our best. We are again the Rodrygo and the Vini Jr. that the fans want to see. To keep working and doing things right to continue like this,” the youngster said about his partnership with Vinicius.
Finally, he had words of appreciation for the crowd at Santiago Bernabeu, saying: “I feel like them. If they are happy, so am I. It was a perfect night again.”
Real Madrid played a complete match, says captain Nacho
Nacho Fernandez was the next player to speak to the media on the night. The Spaniard captained the team against Valencia, completing all 90 minutes in central defence.
“We’re all leaving happy. We had the clear goal of winning today and playing a good match in front of our fans and it has come out in the best way,” he said about his sensations after the game.
The captain also stressed on the importance of a high-scoring win, saying: “It has been a very complete match and we have been very good. When you score a lot of goals, everything seems better. We have been good from start to finish.”
Such a dominant performance was always on the horizon if one takes into consideration Real Madrid’s form in recent games. The captain stressed the same in his interview.
“Lately we are playing very good matches. Today, in the end, we conceded that goal, which does us a little damage to the defensive line.”
“But in general we have been very well defensively for many games. To win titles, the key is to be well defensively because we have a lot of potential upstairs,” he added.
The 33-year-old also praised Real Madrid’s two Brazilian sensations who shone brightly on the night, calling them ‘magical’.
“They are magical players. They have tremendous potential. They are fast, have a goal and they manage well with each other. It’s much easier to play with players like that.”
Nacho then went on to address his personal situation at the club and whether he was satisfied with his form and participation this season.
“I’m very happy. Everything that is playing with this shirt is a tremendous pride. Adding minutes and games being captain of this great team is a pride.”
As the captain, Nacho made it a point to acknowledge the contribution that the support from the fans made on the night and called for a united stand in the games to come.
“The goal was to win, but the good atmosphere that has been in the stadium has been incredible. It is important that fans and players are united for everything.“
Finally, he spoke about Pirri, who was named Real Madrid’s honorary president earlier this week in the General Assembly.
“It’s incredible. The magical nights that he will have lived here with this shirt. I wish him all the best in this new stage. It’s a pride that he represents us.”
Source: Real Madrid website
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo