Rodrygo explains decision to reject bargain €3m transfer to Liverpool as he admits Real Madrid wanted to avoid Man City Champions League tie

Real Madrid star Rodrygo has explained why, back in 2017, he rejected the opportunity to join Liverpool in a bargain €3 million transfer.

The highly-rated forward, who is just 23 years of age, was on the books of Santos in his homeland when interest from Europe first materialised. The Premier League giants from Anfield made their move at one stage, but Rodrygo snubbed their advances and held out for a 2019 switch to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Rodrygo Real Madrid 2023-24

Explaining that decision, Rodrygo has said: “We didn’t close the deal because I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay at Santos even though the offer was very good. The pathway they promised me would also have been very good for my career. I was going to finish my studies in England to prepare for European football. It had always been my dream to play in Europe.

Everything was very good, but my desire spoke louder. I wanted to stay at Santos and make a bit of history at the club. And that’s what happened: I was able to fulfil my dream of playing for Santos. But it’s true, I almost went to Liverpool.”

Rodrygo’s next outing will see him line up against English opposition as – two years on from his stunning contribution off the bench in a semi-final clash with Manchester City – he prepares to face the Premier League title holders once again. He added on being handed a tough draw in the quarter-final of continental competition: “It brings back good memories but also bad ones.

This was an opponent that, to be honest, we didn’t want to face. And they think the same as well: they didn’t want to play against us. It’s a game that everyone expects to be the final, but it’s going to be now. Man City are very good, but our team is also very strong. It’s going to be good to meet them again.

“They’re the Champions League winners, they’re the world champions, today they’re the best team in the world, so we have total respect for them. There are no bad or medium [City] players. There’s no player you can think of like: ‘This one I’m going to press because he isn’t good and he will give us a goal or a great chance.’ They have a very good control of the game and of the ball. It’s a very beautiful game, a very difficult team. It’s very annoying to play against them but I believe in our team.”

Rodrygo Real Madrid 2023-24

Real, who sit at the top La Liga, will play host to City on Tuesday in the first leg of a heavyweight quarter-final tie. Rodrygo will be hoping to figure prominently in that fixture after bagging a match-winning brace in his last outing against Athletic Club.


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