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Real Madrid star reveals he almost joined Liverpool in 2017

Real Madrid winger Rodrygo has revealed he almost joined Liverpool before his move to the Spanish giants.

The Brazilian was viewed as one of South America’s brightest prospects after emerging at Santos and Liverpool were among the first major European clubs to make an approach.

Rodrygo has revealed that a deal was agreed for him to move to the Premier League for a fee of just €3m, though he turned down the transfer in favour of remaining at Santos.

 

After 80 appearances and 17 goals for the Brazilian side, he signed for Real Madrid in a €45m deal in 2019.

The 23-year-old has since developed into one of Europe’s most exciting wide players with Los Blancos and starred as the Spaniards won the Champions League in 2021/22, beating Liverpool in the final.

Speaking ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League quarter-final tie with Manchester City on Tuesday evening, Rodrygo told The Guardian how close he came to a move to English football.

“We didn’t close the deal because I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay at Santos even though the offer was very good,” he said.

“The pathway they promised me would also have been very good for my career. I was going to finish my studies in England to prepare for European football.

“It had always been my dream to play in Europe. Everything was very good, but my desire spoke louder. I wanted to stay at Santos and make a bit of history at the club. And that’s what happened: I was able to fulfil my dream of playing for Santos. But it’s true, I almost went to Liverpool.”

 

Rodrygo scored a famous stoppage-time double as Real Madrid beat Manchester City in the 2021/22 Champions League semi-finals and, ahead of the reunion with Pep Guardiola’s team this week, admits that game changed his life.

“Today I feel that when I get close to the area, the defenders pull me back, mark me, watch me,” he said. “I get annoyed by this because I never get free, without a defender with me, any more. Sometimes a teammate is in the area and nobody goes to mark him because they’re on me.

“That game changed a lot of things in my life. My status in football changed a lot after those two goals. People started looking at me with different eyes. The two goals were a step forward in my career.”

Read – Rodrygo admits Real Madrid ‘didn’ want’ Man City draw

See more – Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 32

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