Real Madrid star Rodrygo couldn’t hide his delight after meeting his “biggest idol” Cristiano Ronaldo as the Portuguese dropped by to visit his old club in Saudi Aarabia.
Brazil international Rodrygo has been on the books of the Spanish giants since 2019, joining from Santos when still in his teens. He has already won several domestic and European trophies with Los Blancos, including the 2021-22 Champions League, before featuring for his country at the World Cup in Qatar.
The youngster’s arrival at the Bernabeu came just a year after Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus, meaning the pair never shared a pitch in Madrid colours. Rodrygo got to meet Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia, though, and couldn’t hide his joy.
“Meeting my biggest idol!” Rodrygo wrote on Instagram while sharing the photos of him and Ronaldo together. The 37-year-old had paid a visit to Real Madrid’s training session in Saudi Arabia, where Carlo Ancelotti’s side are due to face Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final.
He was also pictured chatting to Ancelotti, who looked delighted to see his former Real Madrid charge.
The reigning La Liga champions needed penalties to beat Valencia in their semi-final on Wednesday, with Thibaut Courtois denying Jose Luis Gaya to send them through. Barca also needed penalties in their game against Real Betis, for whom Juanmi and William Carvalho missed from the spot.
Ronaldo won the Champions League four times in Real Madrid colours, including under Ancelotti in 2014 during the Italian’s first spell in charge. A number of his former team-mates are still at the club, including Ballon d’Or winners Karim Benzema and Luka Modric.
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Rodrygo is looking to bounce back in the second half of the season after his World Cup disappointment with Brazil. He was one of two players to miss from the penalty spot as Tite’s team were eliminated by Croatia at the quarter-final stage, leading to the manager’s dismissal.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, is looking to make a fresh start in Riyadh after suffering World Cup elimination at the same stage. The veteran was a free agent when his Portugal team lost 1-0 to Morocco, but is now preparing to make his bow for new club Al-Nassr.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is more than a player. He is one of the best players in the world,” Al-Nassr manager Rudi Garcia said of the new arrival.
“It’s amazing how much it’s put a spotlight on our club. Now, everyone knows where our club is around the world. We must have gone from 800,000 (followers) to 10million in a few hours, a few days, because of Cristiano’s arrival.”
“The greatest champions are the easiest to manage. He (Ronaldo) blended in with the squad. We saw him joking and laughing with pleasure with his new teammates. He was with us for the last game, even if he couldn’t play. He was in the locker room, riding his bike.”