Pep Guardiola: Rodri ‘by far’ The Best Midfielder in the World

Manchester City news- City manager Pep Guardiola asserts Rodri is presently the world's best midfielder; ahead of teammate Kevin de Bruyne
Rodri: Manchester City
Rodri: Manchester City / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Premier League champions Manchester City are a force to reckon with both domestically as well as in European competitions. The treble winners of last year, under the shrewd guidance of Pep Guardiola, are aiming to repeat the feat once again this term.

Man City is one of the prime contenders for winning the Premier League, but faces competition from Liverpool, who currently lead the standings with 57 points, and Arsenal, who are placed second with 55 points. However, City do have a game in hand, amassing 53 points in 24 matches.

City’s impressive run of 11 consecutive wins was halted by Chelsea last weekend, as the Blues secured a 1-1 draw, with Rodri scoring the late equalizer for the Etihad Stadium-based side.

Manager Pep Guardiola lauded the Spanish international, affirming that Rodri remains the best midfielder of the modern era, but, with the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Erling Haaland in the team, he rarely gets the limelight.

Guardiola’s proclamation of Rodri is backed up by statistics and impact of the defensive midfielder’s unique contributions that often go unnoticed.

Since February 2023, it has been over a year that City have not lost a match with Rodri playing.

Speaking about the 27-year-old, as reported by The Independent, Guardiola said:

"With him, we are a better team, no doubt."

"I would say if the holding midfielder doesn’t get the same appreciation as the strikers or the number 10 then that is good. When a holding midfielder has a lot of appreciation, it is not good."

"The holding midfielder has to play positive, for him and for the team, and make the team play. This is the role for the holding midfielders. All the highlights have to be for the guys up front who score goals and make assists and so on."

The 53-year-old stated that Rodri has developed his game further, coming out of the traditional defensive midfield role, and scoring for the side, whenever needed.

"Rodri always has the ability in important moments to score goals so he’s an unbelievable player. He’s the best midfield player in the world currently by far because he is able to do everything."

"What a signing. It’s difficult to understand how we could have done what we have done in recent years without him."

The midfield maestro has completed 1275 passes in the opposition half this season, which is 400 more than any other player on the pitch, with a monumental 93.2 percent pass completion rate in 2023-24 season.

Rodri remains the unsung hero for Manchester City, and if he stays fit for the remainder of the campaign, City’s objective of back-to-back trebles can surely be deemed a realistic possibility.

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