Rodrygo: I Don't Want 'Pressure of Replacing Cristiano Ronaldo' at Real Madrid

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2019

Real Madrid's Brazilian forward Rodrygo controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Real Madrid and Galatasaray at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on November 6, 2019. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

Real Madrid winger Rodrygo Goes has said he does not want the burden of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

The 18-year-old has enjoyed an impressive start to his career at the club following his arrival in the summer.

However, he does not consider himself a replacement for Ronaldo, whom he would have liked to play alongside, per Goal's Daniel Lewis:

"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.

"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."

Ronaldo left the Spanish giants for Juventus last year, having contributed an astonishing 450 goals in nine seasons at the club.

Rodrygo, who joined from Santos in a €45 million transfer in the summer, has made just six senior appearances for the club. He's scored five goals in that time, though.

The Brazilian made a splash on his La Liga debut when he came off the bench to help Real record a 2-0 win over Osasuna in September:

OptaJose @OptaJose

1 - Rodrygo Goes is the fastest player to score his first LaLiga goal for Real Madrid (93 seconds) since Ronaldo Nazário in 2002 (62). Impact. https://t.co/EknwWdo0oi

He found the net again in a 5-0 win over Leganes, but the performance that garnered the most attention was his star turn in a 6-0 UEFA Champions League victory against Galatasaray.

The teenager netted a perfect hat-trick as well as providing an assist for Karim Benzema (U.S. and UK only, respectively):

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

Hat trick for Rodrygo in his first Champions League start at the Bernabéu 🎩 He's 18 🌟 https://t.co/hitiCL81C1

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

⚽️ 4' Left foot ⚽️ 7' Head ⚽️ 90+1' Right foot Rodrygo became the youngest player to score a perfect hat-trick in the Champions League and only the third to score a hat-trick at 18. Unbelievable prospect. 🔥 https://t.co/mv5GPBKdtO

After the game, manager Zinedine Zidane was quick to stress he does not want to put too much pressure on the youngster:

Goal @goal

What a night it was for Rodrygo 👏 Zinedine Zidane doesn't want to put too much pressure on him, though... https://t.co/WbIDcNqlww

It's clear Rodrygo possesses plenty of talent, but replacing Ronaldo and his goal output is virtually impossible for almost any player, let alone one so young and inexperienced at the top level.

Young players often go through peaks and troughs. Rodrygo's compatriot, Vinicius Jr., was one of Los Blancos' brightest sparks last season, but he has struggled to have the same impact in this campaign.

Once in a generation you'll find a player like Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe, who was a superstar before he hit 20, but for the vast majority of younger players it's important not to expect too much from them too soon.