Rodri admits nerves before meeting Pep Guardiola for first time
Last Updated: 20/07/19 7:52am
New Manchester City midfielder Rodri has admitted he was nervous when he met Pep Guardiola for the first time.
The 23-year-old Spaniard joined City for a club-record £62.5m from Atletico Madrid earlier this month, and made his first appearance in the 4-1 win over West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy on Wednesday.
However, Rodri says he had not met City boss Guardiola before arriving at the Etihad, and when asked if he was nervous before their first encounter, he told Sky Sports News: "Yes, of course.
"But day by day, it gets normal, and like every coach, they give you indications to teach you and improve. You have to take it as soon as possible to translate it onto the pitch.
"For me, it's good how we have started. He's told me three or four concepts I didn't know. He wants you to travel with the ball; it depends on the moment, but not always pass, pass.
"In the midfield I know I have to do one or two touches and give speed to the ball. But he asked me when no one is coming and pressing you, you have to go. Someone will come and then the other one is going to be free.
"They are all the kinds of things you don't notice but I'm excited to get started."
Rodri began his career with Atletico before moving to Villarreal as a teenager, but then re-joined Diego Simeone's side in 2018.
He dismissed suggestions he was released by Atletico in 2013 because he was too small - he is now six feet, two inches tall - but says leaving his boyhood club helped to make him the player he is today.
"I wasn't too big in that moment but no one told me they didn't want me; I just wanted to choose another road," explained Rodri.
"I think if I didn't go out of Atletico in that moment, maybe I wouldn't be here. In your career you have to take decisions.
"In your mind you have to keep thinking you are doing good things but for me it was very tough, because I left home. But it was a good decision."