Real Madrid won the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia on Sunday night, beating local rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties to seal the trophy.
Neither team was able to break the deadlock after 90 minutes, and the scores remained level following an additional 30 minutes of extra-time.
There was a hugely controversial moment towards the end of extra-time, however, when Fede Valverde deliberately earned himself a straight red card for a tactical foul on Alvaro Morata.
Morata, who was through on goal with only goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to beat, was denied the opportunity to score by the Uruguayan midfielder.
Valverde was sent off, the match went to penalties and Real Madrid won the shoot-out 4-1 to lift the trophy. Valverde then received the Man of the Match award, just to add insult to injury for Atleti.
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Although this was only the Spanish Super Cup, a penalty shoot-out is always a nerve-wracking experience for footballers.
Dani Carvajal, Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos – three experienced pros – all scored from the spot for Real Madrid, while the other spot-kick was converted by 19-year-old Rodrygo.
The Brazilian winger, who joined Los Blancos in a €45 million deal from Santos in the summer and made headlines by netting a hat-trick against Galatasaray in the Champions League earlier this season, scored one of the best penalties we’ll see all season.
The teenager took a deep breath, arced his run-up and then emphatically smashed the ball into the top corner.
Watch it here…
They don’t get much better than that. To score such a brilliant penalty past Jan Oblak, the goalkeeper considered by many as the world’s best, makes it all the more impressive.
However, Rodrygo probably wouldn’t have taken Madrid’s second penalty if it wasn’t for Toni Kroos.
The Germany international, who’d been subbed off for Vinicius Jr, knew his Brazilian teammate was capable of scoring, and showed great leadership by putting the youngster forward.
“When they were deciding who should take one I waited a bit, as there were others with more experience,” Rodrygo told reporters after the match, per Marca.
“Kroos said that I should take one.
“He insisted, saying ‘Rodrygo, Rodrygo…’”
Fair play to Kroos for giving Rodrygo confidence and for ensuring the starlet made Zinedine Zidane’s list of penalty takers.
And full marks to Rodrygo for scoring such a superb spot-kick under pressure. He clearly possesses the mentality required to become a world-class player.
‘”I train on penalties like that, even if it went a little higher than I usually hit them,” he added.
“This is one of my best days.
“I dreamed of this moment, of winning a title with Real Madrid.”