In the application of Real Madrid for the 1/8 finals of the Champions League with Liverpool, in addition to all the eminent strikers, an unfamiliar one is striking – 18-year-old Alvaro Daniel Rodriguez.
Perhaps this is the future star of the Madrid club – you need to get acquainted right away.
Alvaro was born in Catalonia but missed La Masia due to lack of club DNA
After a bright start in the little-known Catalan Global Palamos and Girones Sabat, young Dani was called to Getafe, and five years later, in 2020, to Real Madrid.
It is known that La Masia also followed him, but refused: they did not see the club’s DNA – the starting skills necessary for development in the Barcelona system. There was also no unanimity in Real Madrid: the physique was embarrassing. In the first year, Alvaro was put on the left flank, but they quickly realized that he was drawn to the center of attack: the guy quickly mastered a new role, hours of cuts with Romelu Lukaku’s game helped.
Minor injuries regularly interfered, but with the development of an individual plan for physical development, the injuries disappeared.
In 2021, Alvaro made his debut for Castilla in the third division and very quickly captured the trust of head coach Raul: the Spanish legend liked that Rodriguez listened to him carefully and quickly grasped everything.
Castilla employees also noted other features of the striker: modest, wears size 48 shoes, loves music, and in the youth team of Real Madrid he dominated in the style of Erling Haaland.
In the 2021/22 season, Rodriguez played 648 minutes for the Real Madrid second team: he managed to score four and give four assists. This year he has five goals in 1257 minutes. Yes, there are fewer effective actions with half the time on the field, but this may partly be due to the fact that the guy is constantly moving between the main team and the double.
Carlo Ancelotti began bringing Alvaro to the starting line at the end of October. Then Rodriguez got into the application for matches with Sevilla in La Liga and Shakhtar in the Champions League – but did not go out.
He made his debut already in 2023: in the Spanish Cup against the modest Casereno. Alvaro came out in the 67th minute instead of Eden Hazard, and two minutes later, with him on the field, Rodrigo scored the winning goal.
He played for the youth team of Spain, but chose Uruguay. Scored five goals in seven games at the South American Youth Championship
After his debut, the young striker once again played for Castilla and drove off to the South American Youth Championship to play for Uruguay. Although Alvaro was born and raised in Spain, he chose the national team because of his father’s background. Football roots are also there: great-uncle Climaco Rodriguez played five matches for the adult national team of Uruguay from 1958 to 1962.
It’s funny that a year ago, Rodriguez for Spain-U18 went to the Mediterranean Games and even scored there. And in August 2022, he announced the choice of Uruguay.
He was successful in the South American Youth Championship: Uruguay took silver, and Rodriguez scored five goals in seven matches and became one of the tournament’s top scorers. Only the Brazilians Andrei Santos (Chelsea’s fresh transfer) and Vitor Roque scored more.
Alvaro has an assist in the fifth minute of his La Liga debut. And it’s before another one canceled
A day after the final against Brazil, Alvaro was already training with Castilla, and three days later, Carlo Ancelotti included him in Real Madrid’s squad for the match against Osasuna and explained: “We trust him. We don’t have enough players like that.”
The striker jumped onto the field in the 87th minute instead of Rodrigo and on the first added one seemed to give an assist to Vinicius – but the ball was canceled. But a minute later, Marco Asensio scored from a debutant’s pass – and here everything was already clean, so they made it 2-0 and approved the victory. The guy took less than five minutes for the first effective action for Real Madrid in La Liga.
“Alvaro is a very versatile player. He’s tall, has good ball control, and is great in the air. He can help us a lot in the future. It’s not easy to get into Real Madrid at such a young age. He turned the game around in minutes. We need to talk to Raul about the transfer to the first team,” Ancelotti said after the match.
The very next day, Rodriguez played 60 minutes for Castilla. Here is the chart.
It looks like Alvaro is adapting quickly at Real Madrid. He even got a personal mentor – Federico Valverde, the main player of the Uruguay national team.
“Valverde is the one who cares the most about Alvaro. He is always with him, giving advice. Alvaro is crazy about him. Fede is his second father, he helps a lot,” says the player’s dad, Juan Carlos Rodriguez. According to him, Nacho Fernandez and Lucas Vazquez are also actively helping to adapt.
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