'The best midfielder in Europe': Pep Guardiola raves about Rodri after latest Champions League masterclass

Rodri Man City 2023-24Getty
  • Guardiola: Rodri is Europe's best midfielder
  • Spaniard scored mesmeric goal vs Red Star
  • Coach confirmed injury for Bernardo Silva

WHAT HAPPENED? The Spain international gave a dominant display in City's first Champions League game of the campaign and capped the performance with a wonderful strike, adding to his goal in last season's final against Inter Milan.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Right now he's the best [midfielder in Europe]. Hopefully he can be better and improve but he's an extraordinary holding midfielder," Guardiola told a press conference. "We were lucky the club signed this player and when he arrived he wasn't this type of player. Now he's one of the captains. He's a top class player."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Rodri's goal made sure of the City victory and built on two goals in quick succession from Julian Alvarez, after the champions fell behind to a shock goal from Osman Bukari on the stroke of half-time. Guardiola said conceding the first goal was a good thing for his team as it ensured they stayed motivated. And he paid tribute to Alvarez, who has made a stunning start to the season. "Really good. All the actions were really good and so quick. The assist from Erling was really good. He is so young. What a signing the club have made," Guardiola added. "He has everything - fighting and goals and assists. Incredible, lovely guy. Playing behind Erling he is an incredible threat. Really pleased for him, he deserves it."

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AND WHAT'S MORE: Guardiola also explained that he took off Bernardo Silva before half-time as he had picked up an injury which will now rule him out of Saturday's game at home to Nottingham Forest. City have a long list of injured players including Jack Grealish, Kevin De Bruyne and Mateo Kovacic and Guardiola admitted: "We are in trouble."


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Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2023-24Getty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR MAN CITY? Guardiola's side host Forest in the Premier League on Saturday. Their next Champions League game is away to RB Leipzig on October 4.