Luis Enrique made the choice since he took over as coach of Spain to build his attack around Rodrigo Peak. But the Valencia forward is not necessarily the key to the Red's recurring concerns in this post.
Since the decline of Fernando Torres, Spain is desperately looking for a pure attacker peak to reconnect with the peaks. She certainly won the Euro 2012 with the number 9 of the fake holder Cesc Fabregas in the final against Italy (4-0). But his results have skated since then, with Red having not passed the 8th finals in three consecutive tournaments. This decline of the world's best nation at the crossroads of the 2010s is in part due to its inability to find an advanced center to trust. He pointed out the coach this summer to replace Fernando Hierro, who was acting during the World Cup after leaving in the mess of Julen Lopetegui, Luis Enrique made a different choice from his predecessor. Get out of Diego Costa, holder in Russia and who was not called up for the first three rallies of the season. In his place, the former FC Barcelona coach promoted Rodrigo, who shares with Atletico Madrid striker the common point of being born in Brazil. But that's about it.
A Spanish soccer DNA
Arrived in Spain at age 11, Rodrigo adopted the football DNA. The Valencia forward is much more comfortable in small spaces than Antoine Griezmann's play partner in Colchoneros and more easily matches his partners ashore. Despite being a good leader, especially thanks to his sense of anticipation, the carioca of birth has the possibility, with his mobility and technique, to move over the width of the field and open the axis. to your teammates. A feature that has less Costa or Alvaro Morata, which are mainly central points of fixation. Another positive point for Rodrigo: he owns the far shot gun that had lost so much in La Roja during the World Cup and is missing his two competitors mentioned earlier. He has already shown an interesting complicity with his counterparts in the offensive sector, whether Isco, Marco Asensio or Iago Aspas, in the first three games of Spain in the League of Nations before moving to Croatia on Thursday (20h45).
Only one Spaniard has more than 20 goals in one season for five years
But do not expect Rodrigo to solve all of Red's concerns. Did he score two goals in the League of Nations? There are only three in 14 selections. He has not even found the net once this season with his Valencia club. In 15 games in all competitions, it is very little, especially because it contrasts with 2017-18, where he finished with 19 achievements in the clock. This lack of efficiency, which is nothing new for Rodrigo (only two seasons for more than 10 goals in the league), is also a recurring problem for Spanish strikers. In the last five seasons, there is only one international that has surpassed 20 goals in a year of the league: Iago Aspas (Diego Costa and Aritz Aduriz reached the top of this total). While Spain will not find this reliable striker, will be limited on the international stage. Meanwhile, she does with what she has at hand. And with its specifics, Rodrigo is certainly not the worst solution to make the patch.