ROTTERDAM, June 17 (Reuters) – Spain midfielder Rodri is going through the best period of his career as he prepares for a second final in the space of a week, looking to add national team success to taking the treble with Manchester City.
The commanding midfielder, who turns 27 next week, was the hero for City last Saturday as they won a first-ever Champions League title with a 1-0 win over Inter Milan in Istanbul.
On Sunday he is expected to be key again, this time for Spain as they take on Croatia to decide the Nations League champions in Rotterdam.
Asked at a Saturday press conference whether these were the best times of his career, Rodri replied: “I think so, in terms of footballing maturity, winning trophies and having wonderful experiences, I would say yes, it is.”
“I want to extend that to the national team now. We beat Italy two days ago in a very tough game, and now we have another final to play. And we must understand the importance of taking these chances and winning a trophy for the first time in a long while. It would be the perfect way to end the season.”
Rodri has played over 60 games this season, more than 5,900 minutes, helping Manchester City to historic heights and competing for Spain at last year’s World Cup.
“I’ve tried to just take things calmly and naturally. When there are happy moments, you need to know how to accept the praise. But I’m more focused on the team overall, what matters is winning trophies as a team, that’s what I’ve always wanted.”
“We have a big game tomorrow after a very long season for me which has been very demanding. I didn’t know how I would be heading into the final stages of the season with the World Cup in the middle and making a big effort for my club.
“I’m now in a situation where I’m in better shape than I thought. So I have to make the most of this opportunity to round off a fantastic season.”
Rodri has won 42 caps for Spain since his debut in 2018 and played in the losing team in the 2021 Nations League final against France.
“I think it would be brilliant to win a trophy for Spain for the first time in a long while and take Spain to the top. It would be very important not just in terms of winning, but also in terms of forging a winning future. It’s a unique opportunity tomorrow and it would stand us in good stead for future tournaments and have a winning mentality.”
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