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Give Rodri the Ballon d'Or: Manchester City Midfielder on Another Level

A bold take.

Sheffield United v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester City midfielder Rodri has been on fire the last name. The Spaniard has been the best player in the world in his position. His impact on the team has been phenomenal helping them secure an unprecedented treble last season. As if to make sure everyone takes notice he has started the current campaign in scintillating form.

He's becoming the go-to man to bail out his team when the going gets tough. Being a defensive midfielder his role in the team is not goalscoring. So it will be unfair to judge him by goals. His role is to protect the back four and ensure his defence is not unduly exposed to attacks.

Alongside Eddie Howe's resurgent Newcastle United, Man City conceded the least number of goals in the Premier League last season. That went a long way in helping the Blues to another league title; the third in a row. While the likes of Kevin de bruyne and Eden Holland are the names that come to the for when considering key players in the team, Rodri's role cannot be underestimated.

But the Spanish midfielder has had his struggles at the Etihad Stadium too. After Fernandinho's exploits at the club, replacing the Brazilian was a huge task. Pep Guardiola brought in Rodri as the man to fill in the big boots the Brazilian was leaving behind. Initially, Rodri struggled to fit into the role as has been the case with many City signings under the Catalan manager.

But once he understood the system and what his manager wanted from him, the midfielder grew into the role and has since become one of the best players in the world. The 27-year-old does not restrict himself to just the defensive midfield role but has become an all-round player popping up in different parts of the pitch to mop up any mess.

And in difficult games where all else fails he rises to the occasion to bail out the team. After scoring important goals that contributed to City success last season including in the Champions League, he has started this campaign in similar fashion. Two goals and an assist in his first three games of the season read like a striker's record. But that's what makes him so special and he's getting even better.

He played in 36 of the 38 Premier League matches last season featuring even more than goalkeeper Ederson. That underscores just how important and reliable he is to the manager. He has not just been good at club level, but as captain also led the Spanish national team to the European Nations League title.

So apart from teammates Julian Alvarez who also won the World Cup with Argentina and fellow Spaniard Aymeric Laporte, no other player can match Rodri's achievement in the 2023 calendar year. However, where he stands head and shoulders above even these two players is his contributions in the team; he is a key player in both teams that is heavily relied upon.

These are qualities and achievements that should make him a strong candidate for the Ballon d'Or.