Rodrygo Goes says it is a "shame" he never got to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and does not want to be seen as a replacement for the Real Madrid great.

The 18-year-old has made a quick impact at the Santiago Bernabeu since arriving from Santos in a reported €45million deal agreed last year, scoring five goals in six appearances.

Rodrygo has already earned comparisons to Ronaldo, who scored a club-record 450 goals for Madrid before leaving for Juventus in July 2018.

However, the teenage forward – in line to earn his first senior Brazil cap in Friday's friendly with Argentina – is cautious about playing with such high expectations. 

"Being able to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid was a dream of mine and it's a shame that he left because now I think it would be very difficult to play with him," he said at a Brazil news conference on Tuesday.

"I am still a very young player to talk about filling the place left by someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, who is one of the greatest players in the history of the club – if not the greatest.

"I don't want to weigh myself down with the pressure of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo."

Rodrygo scored 93 seconds into his Madrid debut in September's 2-0 LaLiga win against Osasuna and netted a hat-trick in last week's 6-0 victory over Galatasaray in the Champions League.

The youngster has made a big impression in the Spanish capital but is surprised by how quickly his career has taken off.

"You always try to make sure you are fully prepared so that things turn out well, but I could never have imagined that everything would happen so quickly," he said.

"It's all come as a huge surprise to me. Only a short while ago I was hoping to make my Champions League debut... and maybe at the most score a goal.

"Scoring a hat-trick like I did was something nobody expected. So I can't really explain how I felt after the game. Al I could do was enjoy a special, once-in-a-lifetime moment."

He added: "Learning the ropes as a footballer isn't just about what's done on the training pitch. There is a big mental part too, preparing yourself so that success doesn't go to your head and knowing how to handle fame and to not be presumptuous. 

"On that side of things, it helped me a lot that my father was a footballer, and that gave me a head start on the mental part. I watched him go through things that are happening to me now and so I know I can't let all of this attention go to my head."

Rodrygo was left on the bench for Madrid's 4-0 win over Eibar on Saturday but is primed to make his senior Brazil debut.

"I feel fulfilled. It has always been my dream," he said. 

"Since I was a boy I have dreamt about representing the national team and playing alongside the best players in the world – players whose careers I have been following for a long time.

"So being here gives me happiness that I can't begin to put into words. Everything that has been happening in my life makes me feel very happy."

Brazil captain Thiago Silva is not concerned about coming up against Lionel Messi in Friday's clash with bitter rivals Argentina, rather seeing it as a source of pride to take on the Barcelona superstar.

Messi is back in the Argentina squad for the first time since the Copa America, where Brazil beat Argentina 2-0 in July's semi-final.

After that controversial encounter, Messi accused CONMEBOL of corruption, earning a four-match ban and a $50,000 fine.

Messi is expected to make his return during the friendly clash in Saudi Arabia, and Silva prefers not to look at the situation with fear, instead relishing facing one of the best.

"We are not concerned but proud to have a chance to face him," Silva told reporters on Monday.

"They [Argentina] have their star, we won't have ours [Neymar, who is injured], but Brazil is Brazil, and we showed it during our Copa America win.

"They are living a different moment, as are we when you consider the last few matches. Brazil versus Argentina is always a great game, with great football and scoring chances.

"There's a 50:50 winning chance for each side - let's hope we are more inspired then than they are."

Brazil winger Willian added: "He [Messi] is a great player, unmatched, the best in the world. We've faced Argentina when he played before, and this will be just like those times.

"There must be more attention on him, we must restrict his spaces. We'll not man-mark him, but whoever is around him must close down the spaces, not leave him room to think."

Real Madrid youngster Rodrygo Goes is in line to earn his first senior cap at the tender age of 18 after breaking into the first team at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The wide attacker has already scored five goals in just six matches for Madrid, and Silva has been impressed, even suggesting he hopes Zinedine Zidane leaves the teenager out when Paris Saint-Germain take on the LaLiga giants in the Champions League later this month.

"The fact he's with the Selecao is a unique opportunity, he surely has dreamt about this moment," the PSG defender said of Rodrygo. "I hope he can enjoy it the best way possible.

"I have over 100 caps and every time I'm here, I feel the chills. I hope he has the wisdom to make the most of it.

"It's surprising really to most people, an 18-year-old with loads of personality. You see for the way he scores goals how calm and reserved this kid is, he's not doing it to show off.

"Let's hope Zidane keeps him on the bench! He's a player who'll demand more attention from your side. His quality speaks for itself."

Rodrygo Goes is making waves at Real Madrid but could have been shining at Liverpool were it not for his former Santos coach Elano.

Madrid paid out a reported €45million to seal Rodrygo's signature in June 2018, by which time he had only made 13 appearances in the Campeonato Brasileiro, though he remained at Santos for another year.

The 18-year-old has made a quick impact at the Santiago Bernabeu, with his hat-trick in the 6-0 Champions League thrashing of Galatasaray on Wednesday moving him onto five goals in six appearances for Los Blancos.

Premier League giants Liverpool held an interest in Rodrygo before Madrid made a formal approach, but Elano felt their bid was insufficient.

"There was a time when there was very strong interest from Liverpool for him to leave when he was still in the youth team," Elano told ESPN.com.br.

"The values were very low, but they wanted to go. Real's offer afterwards was around €30million more.

"I had a conversation with the staff and said the boy was worth the risk and we should promote him because I wanted to work with him. Thank God everything worked out.

"He already had good decision-making at the professional level at you age. Different players have it early on. When they can control it, they get better and better.

"Despite his young age, he has already formed a maturity and game personality. He has technical ability and very precise control of his movements. It did not take long for him to adapt to the senior level. It was very fast.

"I believe so much in his personality and his football. He still has room to grow."

Dani Carvajal applauded Rodrygo Goes for his natural confidence after the 18-year-old scored a hat-trick in Real Madrid's 6-0 demolition of Galatasaray on Wednesday.

Rodrygo only made his first start for the club on October 22 in Madrid's previous meeting with the Turkish champions, but he has quickly shown he is not out of place in Los Blancos' team.

His treble at the Santiago Bernabeu took him to five goals in six appearances for the club, while he also set up the first of Karim Benzema's brace.

Coach Zinedine Zidane claimed he has not been surprised by Rodrygo's impact and Carvajal was overjoyed for the winger.

"You all saw how the boy always wants the ball, tries to dribble and passes, arrives in the box," Carvajal told reporters.

"He has an innate self-confidence, so he is fantastic. His match was really good, so we have to congratulate him."

Toni Kroos was rather more cautious about lavishing praise on the teenager, though he did commend his approach in possession.

"I do not like speaking about a player just because he has scored three goals. He did well in the past few games," Kroos said.

"He is 18 years old but is already helpful for us. Given his age, he plays very well, making it easy, not losing the ball, which is important for our game. It is good to have another scorer, as we need goals."

Zinedine Zidane insisted he was unsurprised by Rodrygo Goes' impressive start at Real Madrid after the teenager's hat-trick against Galatasaray.

Rodrygo, 18, scored three times and set up another in Madrid's 6-0 Champions League win at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

The Brazilian has netted five goals in six games for the club since his move from Santos, leading to plenty of praise.

Zidane was happy with Rodrygo and while he is trying not to put pressure on the forward, the Madrid coach is unsurprised by his displays.

"He is only 18 years old. We are so pleased with him," Zidane told a news conference.

"When he gets a chance to play he always does well, he did that in every sense. He works hard and does a lot of things. We need to have patience and not pressure him.

"I am not surprised whatsoever, he is very talented. Perhaps we can be surprised by the three goals. He is happy, his game is a real joy to watch."

Rodrygo scored twice in the opening seven minutes against Galatasaray, while Karim Benzema netted a brace and Sergio Ramos a penalty.

Zidane praised Madrid's ruthlessness in the victory, which marked their third in four games in all competitions.

"Logically we can be happy with the six goals, but we also kept a clean sheet, defending and respecting our rivals until the end because sometimes when you are four goals up at half-time you can relax, but we didn't," he said.

"Whenever we lost the ball we pressed hard and that led to us having a well-rounded game."

Rodrygo Goes says he is progressing faster than he expected at Real Madrid after scoring a perfect hat-trick on a "dream" night against Galatasaray.

Madrid thumped their Turkish opponents 6-0 at Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, with Rodrygo scoring a treble as well as providing an assist to Karim Benzema.

The 18-year-old opened his Champions League account in style – two of his goals coming inside the first seven minutes – while Benzema's double meant he reached 50 Madrid goals in the competition and Sergio Ramos added a penalty on a brilliant night for the hosts.

It was only Rodrygo's fourth start after his reported €45million move from Santos but he already has five goals to his name and feels increasingly comfortable alongside his star-studded team-mates.

"It is true that everything is going much quicker than what I expected when I arrived at Real Madrid," Rodrygo said to Movistar.

"It is a very happy night. It is a dream come true to hear the Bernabeu sing my name.

"But I have to stay calm, be relaxed and continue to work day by day."

Rodrygo appreciated a gesture from his team-mates, who signed his match ball after a memorable performance, while hailing the quality of fellow attacker Benzema, who set up his stoppage-time third goal to return the favour for the Brazilian's earlier assist.

The forward added: "Playing with Karim makes everything easier. He's an amazing player and I'm very happy to play alongside him.

"I'm sure that what they've put on the ball is very nice because my team-mates are good people and they give me lots of confidence."

Zinedine Zidane's men are now on the brink of sealing a place in the last 16 from Group A. They are comfortable in second place, five points clear of Club Brugge in third with two games to play.

Rodrygo Goes followed in the illustrious footsteps of Real Madrid legend Raul as he became the second youngest player to score a Champions League hat-trick.

At 18 years and 301 days old, the Brazilian netted a perfect treble in Real Madrid's 6-0 win over Galatasaray on Wednesday, converting with his left foot, right foot and head.

The only player to have achieved the feat at a more tender age is Raul, who was 188 days younger when he scored three times against Ferencvaros in 1995.

Rodrygo hit the target twice in the first seven minutes at Santiago Bernabeu and added the third in stoppage time, also becoming the youngest Brazilian to score in Europe's premier club competition.

Rodrygo Goes scored a perfect hat-trick and Karim Benzema also hit a double as Real Madrid took a huge step towards reaching the Champions League last 16 with an emphatic 6-0 win over Galatasaray.

Eighteen-year-old Rodrygo netted twice in the first seven minutes at Santiago Bernabeu and later added a stoppage-time third as he became the youngest Brazilian to score in Europe's premier club competition.

Sergio Ramos' penalty had Madrid three up with the game effectively over after 14 minutes and Benzema scored in each half to reach 50 goals in the competition for Madrid, making him only the fourth player to achieve the feat for a single club.

After a poor start to their Group A campaign, Madrid are now five points clear of third-placed Club Brugge – who lost to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday - with two games to play, while Gala are out as a result of their chastening defeat.

Rodrygo's opener was impressive as he collected Marcelo's cross before cutting inside past Mario Lemina to send a fine left-footed finish into the far corner.

He doubled his tally when a mistake from Mariano gave Marcelo the chance to set up his compatriot again, the forward this time heading in a left-wing delivery from eight yards.

VAR ruled in Madrid's favour when Toni Kroos – who scored the only goal in the reverse fixture in Turkey a fortnight ago - complained he had been fouled by Steven Nzonzi right on the 18-yard line, Ramos beating Fernando Muslera with a cheeky Panenka from the resulting spot-kick.

Casemiro had a goal ruled out and Eden Hazard was denied by Muslera, but Benzema ensured it was four in the last minute of the first half with a simple finish, an assist from the impressive Rodrygo coming after a dreadful pass from Yuto Nagatomo put Gala in trouble.

After the break, Muslera denied Kroos before Christian Luyindama blocked Benzema's follow-up near the goal-line, with the goalkeeper again called into action to keep out substitute Isco from the resulting corner.

Thibaut Courtois thwarted Lemina at the other end, but Benzema struck again after 81 minutes, converting Dani Carvajal's cross from close range.

And Benzema turned provider two minutes into added time, his throughball cleverly finished by man-of-the-moment Rodrygo.

 

What does it mean? Madrid well placed after slow start

Madrid missed the chance to go top of LaLiga at the weekend with a poor home draw against Real Betis but after winning just four of their first nine games to start 2019-20, they would probably have taken being level on points with Barcelona and on the brink of a last-16 spot in Europe by early November. Rodrygo gives the Madrid fans something to get excited about, with a possible injury to Marcelo, who was taken off by Zinedine Zidane just before the interval, the only concern.

Rampant Rodrygo making his mark

It was only his fourth Madrid start, but Rodrygo already looks the part having become the second-youngest scorer of a Champions League hat-trick, behind Madrid legend Raul. The ex-Santos star took all three of his goals clinically and showed his creative ability with a clever delivery to set up Benzema's first goal. It was also a fine night for Benzema, whose strikes ended his four-match streak without scoring in Europe to reach the 50-goal milestone that had only previously been achieved by elite company in Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul.

Key errors cost woeful Gala

Gala are winless in 16 Champions League away games and the best they can now hope for is a Europa League spot. They are the first team in nine years to fail to score in six straight away games in the competition. While the latter stat is on their attacking and creative players, it was defensive mistakes which cost them dearly here, with Mariano, Nzonzi and Nagatomo all guilty of dreadful first-half errors.

What's next?

Madrid are at Eibar in LaLiga on Saturday, with a home game against Paris Saint-Germain next up in this competition on November 26. Gala are away to Gaziantep on domestic business before hosting Club Brugge next in Europe in a key match in the battle to finish third.

Rodrygo Goes scored a perfect hat-trick and Karim Benzema also hit a double as Real Madrid took a huge step towards reaching the Champions League last 16 with an emphatic 6-0 win over Galatasaray.

Eighteen-year-old Rodrygo netted twice in the first seven minutes at Santiago Bernabeu and later added a stoppage-time third as he became the youngest Brazilian to score in Europe's premier club competition.

Sergio Ramos' penalty had Madrid three up with the game effectively over after 14 minutes and Benzema scored in each half to reach 50 goals in the competition for Madrid, making him only the fourth player to achieve the feat for a single club.

After a poor start to their Group A campaign, Madrid are now five points clear of third-placed Club Brugge – who lost to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday - with two games to play, while Gala are out as a result of their chastening defeat.

Rodrygo's opener was impressive as he collected Marcelo's cross before cutting inside past Mario Lemina to send a fine left-footed finish into the far corner.

He doubled his tally when a mistake from Mariano gave Marcelo the chance to set up his compatriot again, the forward this time heading in a left-wing delivery from eight yards.

VAR ruled in Madrid's favour when Toni Kroos – who scored the only goal in the reverse fixture in Turkey a fortnight ago - complained he had been fouled by Steven Nzonzi right on the 18-yard line, Ramos beating Fernando Muslera with a cheeky Panenka from the resulting spot-kick.

Casemiro had a goal ruled out and Eden Hazard was denied by Muslera, but Benzema ensured it was four in the last minute of the first half with a simple finish, an assist from the impressive Rodrygo coming after a dreadful pass from Yuto Nagatomo put Gala in trouble.

After the break, Muslera denied Kroos before Christian Luyindama blocked Benzema's follow-up near the goal-line, with the goalkeeper again called into action to keep out substitute Isco from the resulting corner.

Thibaut Courtois thwarted Lemina at the other end, but Benzema struck again after 81 minutes, converting Dani Carvajal's cross from close range.

And Benzema turned provider two minutes into added time, his throughball cleverly finished by man-of-the-moment Rodrygo.

 

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane commended an inspirational display from Karim Benzema in Wednesday's 5-0 thrashing of Leganes, highlighting how the forward offers much more than just goals.

Benzema has enjoyed a fine start to the season, picking up where he left off last term and he took his tally to seven in LaLiga against Leganes.

But that goal – a second-half penalty – was only part of the story, as the Frenchman set up Rodrygo Goes and then Toni Kroos in the first eight minutes.

As such, he moved on to 10 goal involvements for the season, more than any other player in LaLiga and Zidane was unsurprisingly delighted.

"Karim as always, doesn't change much," Zidane told reporters. "It's important that he scores because he needs that as the number nine of Madrid.

"But he contributes much more than goals and does better for others. I am happy with his performance."

Luka Jovic rounded off the scoring late on with his first goal for the club in 10 matches, heading in from Dani Carvajal's cross.

Zidane was pleased for him after a difficult start to life at the Santiago Bernabeu, while he also applauded Rodrygo's improvement.

"The truth is I am happy for both of them," Zidane added. "Rodrygo has personality and is getting better in the team.

"And Luka is happy because he needed that [goal] and, although he does not play much, it's important [to make an impact] when he has minutes replacing Karim."

Karim Benzema had a hand in three goals as he inspired Real Madrid to a 5-0 win over Leganes in LaLiga on Wednesday.

With last weekend's scheduled Clasico against Barcelona postponed due to political tension in Catalonia, Madrid appeared to have fun on their return to action as they toyed with rock-bottom Leganes, who had no answer to the classy Benzema at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Frenchman was central to a brutal Madrid start that saw them lead 2-0 within eight minutes – Benzema setting up Rodrygo Goes and Toni Kroos, before Sergio Ramos got in on the act from the spot.

Benzema eventually got a deserved goal of his own from 12 yards, taking him to seven for the season, and Luka Jovic finally got his first goal for the club in stoppage time as Los Blancos moved up to second – behind Barcelona – in the table.

Madrid looked in the mood right from the start and quickly charged into their two-goal lead, as Benzema teed up Rodrygo for a straightforward finish, before Kroos' deft flick from the striker's low cross left Juan Soriano with no chance.

Ramos increased the deficit in the 24th minute with a penalty, though he needed two opportunities as Soriano – who conceded the spot-kick for fouling Eden Hazard – was penalised via VAR for coming off his line when saving the Madrid captain's first attempt.

Benzema went agonisingly close to a fine goal just past the hour when his 25-yard strike came back off Soriano's left-hand post.

But Soriano had no such luck soon after when Benzema slammed home a cool penalty, won by Luka Modric after a clumsy tackle by Kenneth Omeruo.

Jovic wrapped up an emphatic victory late on, meeting Dani Carvajal's cross with a fine header to get off the mark for Madrid in his 10th outing.

 

What does it mean? Normal service restored in LaLiga

When promoted Granada sat top of the table at the weekend, there was certainly a feeling of refreshing unpredictability in LaLiga.

But, with Barca demolishing Real Valladolid on Tuesday and Madrid making light work of Leganes, the traditional heavyweights lead the way again at the summit.

Benzema bullies Leganes' backline

What a renaissance Benzema is enjoying. He has always been a very good link-up striker, providing plenty of assists across his Madrid career, but his display on Wednesday was quintessential Benzema. He worked selflessly and laid on two assists in a fine performance, capping it off with a well-taken penalty.

A miserable day for Omeruo

It was a day to forget for many of Leganes' back five, but Omeruo was particularly hapless, struggling to pick up Benzema several times and then tripping Modric for the second penalty.

What's next?

Madrid are at home again on Saturday as Real Betis are the visitors. On Sunday, Leganes host fellow strugglers Eibar, as they look to close the gap to the teams above them.

Teenage Real Madrid forward Rodrygo Goes has been included in Brazil's squad for the first time ahead of next month's friendlies with Argentina and South Korea.

The 18-year-old made his first competitive start for Madrid in Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League win against Galatasaray, having also made a couple of substitute appearances in LaLiga this season.

Rodrygo is joined in Tite's 23-man squad by fellow newcomer Douglas Luiz, who has performed well in the Premier League since joining Aston Villa from Manchester City in July.

There is no place for fellow Madrid players Vinicius Junior and Marcelo, while injured Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar also misses out, but Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson returns to the squad after recovering from a calf injury.

Brazil take on South American rivals Argentina in Saudi Arabia in three weeks and then travel to Abu Dhabi for a friendly with South Korea.

The Copa America holders enter the match without a win in their past four outings - all friendlies - and Tite is looking for an improvement as preparations continue for next year's World Cup qualifiers.

"I was not satisfied with our performances and results," he said at a news conference on Friday.

"But we have played in three competitive competitions. In the first, we formatted the team. The second, we reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup. In the Copa America, we won the title.

"Now we are at a new stage of the preparations, preparing for the qualifiers."

Brazil squad in full:

Alisson (Liverpool), Daniel Fuzato (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City); Alex Sandro (Juventus), Danilo (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Emerson (Real Betis), Felipe (Atletico Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain); Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Fabinho (Liverpool), Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan), Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich); David Neres (Ajax), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Richarlison (Everton), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Willian (Chelsea).

Real Madrid talent Rodrygo Goes was in dreamland after making his Champions League bow against Galatasaray on Tuesday, with his selection taking him by surprise.

The 18-year-old Brazilian arrived from Santos in pre-season in a deal that reportedly cost Madrid €45million.

While he enjoyed plenty of exposure to first-team football in Brazil, Madrid have been using him sparingly, the winger making only two LaLiga appearances and also turning out twice for their second team, Real Madrid Castilla.

However, on evidence of his performance in the 1-0 win in Istanbul, it seems unlikely Rodrygo will be made available to Castilla again, as he looked at home in the senior side in the absence of Gareth Bale.

Coach Zinedine Zidane only informed Rodrygo of his place in the starting XI earlier in the day and, although nervous, the youngster was thrilled to have participated.

"It was only today that the coach told me I was playing," he told reporters. "It was a surprise, I admit, and I was nervous, but I really enjoyed this.

"The coach told me to go out and enjoy the experience, but to concentrate on the defensive duties he'd detailed for me, too.

"My objective now is to go back to Madrid and keep working hard, day by day, and see how far my efforts can take me. Boy, I'm enjoying this, though - it's a bit of a dream come true!"

Rodrygo was not the only young star to feature for Madrid on Tuesday, as compatriot Vinicius Junior came off the bench and Fede Valverde started in midfield.

Left-back Marcelo is happy to see the club putting faith in youth.

"Rodrygo is one of several great young lads - Vinicius, Valverde, too," he said. "It's great to see at our club, but when we lose, we lose together, and when we win, we win together. We needed to improve and we did it."

Victory moved Madrid up to second in Group A with four points, five adrift of Paris Saint-Germain, who have won all three of their matches.

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