Following his goal in Real Madrid’s 3-0 Champions League win over Sporting Braga on Wednesday, Rodrygo thanked Carlo Ancelotti for being there for him during a rough start to the season.
Before Brahim Díaz scored the game’s first goal, Andriy Lunin stopped a penalty. In the second half, Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo both scored to send Madrid to the round of 16.
Rodrygo hasn’t scored in La Liga since the first weekend of the season, but he has now scored in back-to-back Champions League games. After scoring in the 61st minute at the Santiago Bernabeu, he ran to hug Ancelotti.
It was a great game, I’m very happy,” Rodrygo told Movistar. “I’m thrilled not only with the goal and the assist but also with the win and qualifying.”
“The hug was a way to thank Ancelotti.” You can see who people really are when you’re not feeling well. He was always there for me when I wasn’t feeling well. I scored, and we had to jump for joy together.
Rodrygo has been an important player for Madrid in recent years. He helped them win the Champions League and La Liga in 2022 and scored 18 goals across all competitions last year, but he has had a tough start to the season.
“There have been forwards in my career who have scored in every game and others who have times when it’s hard to score,” Ancelotti said at the news conference after the game. “All you can do is help them.” If a person is like Rodrygo or Vinícius, they will score at some point. Because of how good they are, it’s only a matter of time.
“In the second half, Vinicius and Rodrygo worked together brilliantly.” Rodrygo and Vinicius are one of the few pairs that can come back and fight.
Ancelotti said that player Diaz, who moved back to Madrid from AC Milan last summer, should have been able to play more.
“He showed great quality, defensive sacrifice, he did very well,” he said. He could have played longer because of that. But Jude Bellingham has played that role before. Today Brahim did a great job of taking his place.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, the goalie who was taken out of the starting lineup before the game and replaced by Lunin, had felt “discomfort” in the warm-up, according to the coach. He would be checked out on Thursday.