The father of Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez has hinted that his son will join Real Madrid this summer.
Switzerland international Rodriguez scored a penalty in his current club's shock 2-0 Champions League quarterfinal first leg win over Madrid in Germany, which means the team currently in eighth position in the Bundesliga are now narrowly favoured by the bookmakers to knock out the 10-time European Cup winners in next Tuesday's second leg at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
The half-Spanish Rodriguez, 24, has often been linked in the past with a move to the Spanish giants, with Marca claiming last January that a €30-€35 million deal was in the offing.
No mistake from Ricardo Rodriguez...#UCL pic.twitter.com/RlmC2gJkaz
- Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 6, 2016
Jose Manuel Rodriguez, who was born in Galicia, told the Cadena Cope radio station that he had spoken with both Madrid president Florentino Perez and ex-Blancos striker and current executive Emilio Butragueno during Wednesday's game, and suggested he would personally be happy to see his son playing at the Bernabeu full-time.
"On Wednesday I met Florentino Perez," Rodriguez senior said. "We spoke for a little while, not much, with Butragueno too. We were thinking about non-football things. He told me: 'Congratulations, your son is a very good player.' Maybe with time it could be that he goes to Madrid, I would be happy."
Rodriguez Sr. said nothing concrete had yet been agreed, but that his son wants a move and playing in Spain is a very attractive option.
"My son wants to go to a bigger team," he said. "He wants to make his career in the biggest teams, and Spain would be a great option."
Almost before the final whistle went in Wednesday's first leg, Blancos fans and pundits were recalling their side's history of great European comebacks, even though the last time Madrid overcame a first-leg deficit was during current coach Zinedine Zidane's playing days back in 2002.
Talking on Catalan radio show Què t'hi jugues Rodriguez said he knew it would still be difficult, but that he believes his team can achieve the "miracle" of eliminating Real Madrid from this season's Champions League.
"I do not want to talk yet about semifinals, as there is a long way to go yet," the player said. "I cannot say that. We still must play 90 minutes against Real Madrid. It will be very difficult to go through.
"We have a lot of respect for Real Madrid, they have won many trophies, are always up there to win it. It is our first time this far in the Champions League. We will fight to go to the semis, give everything to get there, and we will see what happens. We all believe we can achieve this miracle, although we know it will be very difficult. When we play our best, really aggressive, we can achieve this miracle."
Madrid's superstars, including Cristiano Ronaldo, were well controlled by Wolfsburg's defence in the first leg, although Rodriguez said he knew his team would face a huge task to do so well again, but will need to stick to the game plan which has worked so far.
"Madrid have a great team, in any game they can beat you, as they have great players and a great coach," he said. "Now we must wait on the game at Bernabeu, and play there like we did [in the first leg], without fear, attack when we can and defend well too. It will be a very difficult game, as Madrid are a very strong team at home."
The player himself dodged a question about whether he saw himself as a future Blancos player.
"I don't want to talk about my future now," Rodriguez said. "I don't know. I must play, always play well, and do as well as I can on the pitch. In the end we will see where I go. I will not talk about my path, I am training a lot and doing everything to improve. We will see, I cannot say now where I will go."