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They've changed the story of football - Rodri explains why he chose Manchester City

Omnisport
NEWS
News
879   //    05 Jul 2019, 00:14 IST
Rodri - cropped
Rodri at Atletico Madrid

Rodri declared his love for Manchester City and claimed his new side have "changed the story" of football in England to become a more attractive proposition for players compared to rival teams.

City announced the club-record signing of Rodri on a five-year deal on Thursday after triggering the reported €70million (£63m) release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract.

He also attracted rumoured interest from Manchester United, while Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have been linked with a move in recent days, but the Spain international said joining Pep Guardiola's side was an easy choice to make.

Asked why City are considered a bigger attraction than rivals United, Rodri told reporters: "Maybe they have changed the story. I think City this last five or six years has changed the story of the football here, not only in Manchester but England.

"I don't look for the team, for the club. I look for the challenge on the sporting front and that is why I moved here. 

"I love the city, I love Manchester. I talk with some guys and I think it is becoming more blue. I choose this club because of the football challenge and because over the last two years they have won lots of things. This team is growing every year.

"For me, there were no more options once I noticed that City were interested in me. There was no doubt for me. It was very clear for me to decide to come here. 

"For me it is a great step. Of course there were more teams [interested]. I am really proud of that. I have made a good decision. It is the place I wanted to be."

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Rodri thrived under Diego Simeone during his only season at Atletico, where he cemented his status as one of the finest holding midfielders in Europe.

And the 23-year-old is excited to work under another high-profile coach in Guardiola, who he believes can help to further his game.

"Pep played a big part [in deciding to join] but not all of it," he said. "First of all it is a great team with great players.

"I am not coming here because Pep is Spanish. I think he is the greatest coach in the world and that is what is making me come here. I want to learn individually and grow as a football player because I am very young. 

"I have lots of things to learn and I think with this coach, I am going to learn here.

"I didn't have the chance to talk with him a lot before signing. Some of the people who have played for him tell me he is very committed and that he likes teaching players."

Rodri, known for his positional sense and ability to spot a pass, is unfazed by the prospect of having to battle Fernandinho for a starting spot in central midfield, although the Brazilian has been tipped for a switch to the back.

"I know what team I am joining," he said. "I know it is very tough. The greatest players in the world play here so I am going to work all day to say, 'coach I am ready to be in that position'. 

"I am going to fight every day. I have a lot of attitude and skills to be in this team. I can help this team a lot so that is why I came here. I am excited to start and show my football.

"I am a lucky guy because I have played for teams with different kinds of playing styles. The way I play football is close to this so that is why I chose City."

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