'Hungry for more' – Rodri signs Man City extension and aims for more 'big titles'

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Rodri was hailed as "a manager's dream" as Pep Guardiola's midfield lynchpin signed a three-year contract extension at Manchester City.

The Spain international has been hugely influential in his deep-lying role and hit a crucial goal on the final day of the last Premier League season, as City pinched the title with a 3-2 comeback win over Aston Villa.

Although he had two years to run on his previous deal, City have moved to banish any doubts about Rodri's future by tying the 26-year-old to a deal that runs until the end of the 2026-27 season.

Rodri has racked up 151 games for City and twice been a Premier League and EFL Cup winner under Guardiola.

He said: "Joining City in 2019 is the best decision I have made in my career. I have loved every second. I feel totally supported by the club and the manager pushes me every single day.

"I have improved so much as a player, and I want to thank Pep and all the backroom staff for their help. They are completely committed to helping me become the best player I can be, and I appreciate their hard work.

"We have been very successful since I came here, which is something that makes me very proud. But to be honest, that success has made me even more hungry for me. Once you start winning big titles, you don't want to stop.

"City, I feel, offers me the best chance of winning trophies and that's why I am so pleased to be staying here for longer."

The Champions League will be a key target for City in the new campaign, after their elimination at the hands of eventual winners Real Madrid in last season's semi-finals.

Across the 2021-22 Premier League campaign, Rodri ranked first among all midfielders for successful passes (2,629), recoveries (292) and aerial win rate (72 per cent), Opta data showed.

He had an overall passing accuracy of 91.76 per cent in the competition, with an accuracy of 90.36 per cent in the opposition half ranking as the best rate among all midfielders with at least 15 appearances.

He also scored four goals across the final six games of the season, almost out of character given he is usually a player mopping up and allowing City's more attacking midfielders to raid forward.

Director of Football Txiki Begiristain told City's website that Rodri had been an "exceptional" performer, saying the club were "delighted" to get the extension over the line.

"He is the perfect example of what a top professional should be: he has a fantastic attitude, lives his life in the right way, takes care of his body and trains hard every single day. That is a manager's dream," said Begiristain, "and I know Pep loves working with him."

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