Brazilian sensation Rodrygo said he does not want to become the “new Neymar” as he addressed comparisons to the Selecao superstar.
Rodrygo is one of the most exciting young players in football following his exploits for La Liga champions Real Madrid, earning recognition as Goal’s NxGn 2020 award winner.
The 19-year-old winger’s €45million switch from Santos to Madrid in 2019 has brought generated a lot of comparisons to Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar and Robinho, who both emerged from the Brazilian club.
He has been compared with Neymar since the age of 12 when he signed a deal with Nike to become the youngest athlete ever sponsored by the company.
Rodrygo said: “From the beginning of my career when I started at Santos, they already compared me as the ‘new Neymar’ and with Robinho, I always had that weight over me.
“I always said that I wanted to be Rodrygo and make my story, Robinho and Neymar are great idols of Santos and of all the places where they played. I’m just starting out and I think there is only one Neymar.
“I always had that weight over me, but I just want to be Rodrygo.”
Rodrygo – who has three international appearances to his name with Brazil’s senior team – came off the bench in the 5-0 destruction of Bolivia in Sao Paulo on Friday.
He has made two LaLiga appearances for Madrid in 2020-21, having played 19 matches last term and 26 across all competitions.
“I think it is very important to have a good level, we all know that we have excellent players in my position,” Rodrygo said. “It is very important that when it is my turn to play I do well and do what Tite asks of me in training and before each game.