He was the subject of intense interest from top clubs around Europe, but there was only one destination that the Brazilian had in mind from the off
Rodrygo Goes was reportedly wanted by Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, but all it took from Real Madrid was just 20 minutes to wrap up his signature.
The La Liga side paid out a reported €45 million (£40m/$50m) to seal a move for Rodrygo in June 2018, but the teenager remained at Santos for another year before making the switch.
The 18-year-old was presented as a Los Blancos player at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday, with club president Florentino Perez branding him “one of the great prodigies” as he was unveiled to the fans.
Asked if a report that Madrid managed to seal the transfer in under half an hour, Rodrygo told the press conference at his unveiling: “I always said I preferred Real Madrid and when they came I didn’t even have to ask questions, so 20 minutes and it was all done.
“There was no issue and everything was in place so it was very quick.
“I think everyone who knows me since I was a child knows I’ve always been a Real Madrid fan.
“I always told my dad I’d play for Real Madrid and when they came I didn’t have any doubts at all.”
Rodrygo, who reiterated his willingness to play for Real Madrid Castilla if first-team opportunities are limited, compared his style of play to Robinho and Neymar but would not be drawn on the possibility of playing alongside the Paris Saint-Germain star in Madrid.
“I’m a fast striker, I score and dribble. I’m Brazilian and we’re like that. I identify a little with Robinho and Neymar,” said Rodrygo.
“Neymar is a great player, but he’s on another team and I cannot talk about him.”
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On whether he would like to be the Neymar of Madrid, he issued a firm response: “No, I would like to be the Rodrygo of Real Madrid. There is only one Neymar, there won’t be another.”
The forward scored eight goals in 35 league games for Santos in 2018, and found the net once in four games this season before his absence from the squad as his move to the Santiago Bernabeu was finally realised.