Rodri Aims for “Invincible” Status in Upcoming Manchester Derby

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Record-Equalling Run on the Line

As Manchester City prepares for a high-stakes clash against rivals Manchester United, their midfield maestro Rodri stands on the brink of English football history. Having not tasted defeat in a club match since February 2023, Rodri’s 58-game unbeaten streak has drawn level with the record held by ex-Chelsea stalwart Ricardo Carvalho. A positive result in the derby would not only break this record but also highlight Rodri’s pivotal role in Pep Guardiola’s squad.

Ballon d’Or Buzz Surrounding City’s Colossus

Rodri’s exceptional form has sparked conversations about his eligibility for the Ballon d’Or, with City captain Kyle Walker endorsing his teammate’s credentials. Despite his low profile on social media, Rodri’s on-pitch contributions have been impossible to ignore, with City’s fortunes seemingly intertwined with his presence in the team. The side’s struggles during his suspension earlier in the season underscored his importance, as City suffered three consecutive losses in his absence.

Rodri vs Rice: The Midfield Debate

The summer transfer window saw City express interest in England’s Declan Rice before he made a headline-grabbing move to Arsenal. While Walker admires Rice’s talents, he firmly believes Rodri is the superior holding midfielder at present. Rodri’s experience and maturity are touted as key differentiators, setting him apart as the “finished article” in his position.

More Than Just a Defensive Shield

Rodri’s contributions extend far beyond his defensive duties. His knack for scoring crucial goals was highlighted by his Champions League winner in Istanbul, and his consistent performances have drawn praise from teammates and fans alike. Defender Nathan Ake lauded Rodri as a “great all-rounder,” vital for both controlling games and delivering in critical moments.

Rodri’s Rise to Indispensability

After a somewhat subdued initial season with City, Rodri has silenced critics and become a key figure for Guardiola. His iconic goal against Inter Milan, which secured a Treble for City, has cemented his status as a club legend. Despite being rested in recent fixtures, Rodri’s influence in major matches has made him an essential component of City’s plans, as evidenced by the careful management of his playing time by the club’s medical team.

Keeping Rodri on the Pitch

With City’s ability to cope with the absence of stars like Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne, it’s Rodri’s availability that is seen as crucial to the team’s success. Following a disciplinary lapse earlier in the season, Rodri has adjusted his game, avoiding bookings in his last seven domestic appearances. As City gears up for the remainder of the season, ensuring Rodri’s presence on the pitch is a priority, with the team recognizing that losing him could be a significant setback.

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