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Rodrygo on Comparison to Neymar: 'It Is Idiocy'

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 23, 2018

SANTOS, BRAZIL, SEPTEMBER 16: Rodrygo #9 of Santos controls the ball during the match between Santos and Sao Paulo as a part of Campeonato Brasileiro 2018 at Vila Belmiro Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Santos, Brazil. (Photo by Ricardo Nogueira/Getty Images)
Ricardo Nogueira/Getty Images

Real Madrid-bound teenager Rodrygo has rejected comparisons with Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, saying it is "idiocy" to put him on the same level as the 26-year-old.

The 17-year-old will move from Santos to the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer after the two clubs agreed a deal earlier in 2018. 

Like Neymar, he is a hugely talented Brazilian attacker. But Rodrygo is clearly eager to avoid comparisons, per AS:

"Neymar is Neymar and Rodrygo is Rodrygo. What he does no one else will do the same. People want to compare us and there is no comparison. Neymar is 26 years old and won everything he won. He won the Copa Libertadores, Olympic Games, UEFA Champions League... I am in my first year as a professional. It is idiocy. He's one of my idols, but we can not compare." 

Neymar started his senior career at Santos and won the 2011 Copa Libertadores with the Brazilian club before earning a move to Barcelona in 2013, when he was 21.

BELGRADE, SERBIA - DECEMBER 11: Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Red Star Belgrade and Paris Saint-Germain at Rajko Mitic Stadium on December 11, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Steva
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

He established himself as one of the world's best players at the Camp Nou, winning two La Liga titles and the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League before becoming the world's most expensive player when PSG paid £200 million for him in 2017.

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Rodrygo turns 18 on January 9 and has just completed his first full season in the Santos first team.

He finished the 2018 Brasileirao season having made 35 appearances, in which he scored eight goals and provided three assists.

Most eye-catching was his hat-trick against Vitoria back in June:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Rodrygo has scored his first hat-trick for Santos: 22' ⚽️ 26' ⚽️ 31' ⚽️ 17 years and 145 days old. https://t.co/QmzugCtmEt

Real clearly believe Rodrygo has the talent to become a top-class player as they have agreed to pay Santos €45 million (£40.5 million) for him.

If he ends up emulating Neymar he will prove to be a shrewd purchase. But the youngster himself is sensibly looking to avoid comparisons with his illustrious compatriot.

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