Pep Guardiola names the midfielder who is ‘by far’ the best in the world

‘He’s the best midfield player in the world currently by far because he is able to do everything.’

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Rodri is ‘by far the best midfielder in the world’ because he is not just capable of the holding role he is famed for.

The 27-year-old has become one of the most important players in the Manchester City side since joining from Atletico MAdrid in 2019.

The Spain international has been incredibly reliable, racking up 237 appearances and playing over 50 games in three of his four completed seasons so far.

He may not grab the headlines like players such as Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne or Phil Foden, but his importance to the team is illustrated that Manchester City have not lost a game in over 12 months in which Rodri has played.

Unsurprisingly Guardiola is delighted with his compatriot, but says he is not just the best holding midfielder around, but the best midfielder in general because he does so much more than just provide an anchor in the centre of the pitch.

‘I would say if the holding midfielder doesn’t get the same appreciation as the strikers or the number 10 then that is good. When a holding midfielder has a lot of appreciation, it is not good,’ said Guardiola.

‘The holding midfielder has to play positive, for him and for the team, and make the team play. This is the role for the holding midfielders. All the highlights have to be for the guys up front who score goals and make assists and so on.

‘But Rodri always has the ability in important moments to score goals so he’s an unbelievable player. He’s the best midfield player in the world currently by far because he is able to do everything.

‘What a signing. It’s difficult to understand how we could have done what we have done in recent years without him.’

Rodri’s best goal-scoring season for City came in 2021-22 when he netted seven times in all competitions but he is on course to beat that with six already this campaign.

His latest came in the form of a crucial late equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday evening.

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