Connect with us

Talent Radar

Talent Radar | Top 10 Best Young Players at the World Cup: #4 Ricardo Rodriguez


As the World Cup draws to a close and teams, players, coaches, pundits & fans alike reflect on what was and what could have been, we at Outside of the Boot under our Talent Radar feature recognise the best young players at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The eligibility criteria for this list are all those players who were 21 and below at the start of the 2013/14 season (taken as June 1st 2013).


Ricardo Rodriguez World Cup Talent


 

What was expected of him? Switzerland came into the World Cup with a whole host of youngsters in their squad all of whom were at the top of their game with considerable first team experience in the past season or two. Ricardo Rodriguez, among them, was the standout performer and the one expected to be the first name on the team-sheet with almost no competition for his left-back spot. After a season where he was recognised for his performances, attention was on towards Ricardo, a lot of pressure with it.

How did he perform? Switzerland counted their blessings for getting a rather easy group to navigate with an under pressure French team the only real opposition. The opening game against Ecuador was predicted to be a walk in the park for the Swiss side; it was anything but. The physicality of Ecuador compiled with the rather ineffective approach of Switzerland made the game more open than predicted with Ecuador taking the lead and looking much the better side.

Second half and up-stepped Ricardo Rodriguez. A half-time substitution saw Admir Mehmedi introduced and three minutes later he got at the end of a Rodriguez corner to equalise. But in what was proving to be the most dull fixture up till that point in the World Cup, Ecuador were looking like the more likely side and even almost got their stoppage time winner. Desperate defending from Switzerland got the ball out and a counter erupted. The move was finished off by another substitute in Haris Seferovic who got at the end of another perfect low cross from the left by Ricardo Rodriguez. A poor performance from Switzerland, won by Rodriguez.

The French were the opposition in the next game, a chance for Switzerland to put the critics behind them and justify their high FIFA ranking; a chance and justification they missed out on. The French completely marauded the Swiss attack, scoring four in the space of 23 first half minutes. Two late consolations kept the score to a respectable three goal difference, but it was a largely unimpressive performance. Ricardo Rodriguez though again was one of the better performers. Playing against the threatening duo of Valbuena and Debuchy, who were provided cover by Sissoko, Rodriguez was kept busy throughout and was forced to showcase his defensive side. He didn’t keep them quiet by any means, but his six tackles certainly show a decent image of his performance in the defensive phase. He created a couple of chances as well in attack, but the Swiss were well out-done by a superior French side. Decent from Rodriguez, defensively adept but not able to influence enough in attack.

The last game of the group stage saw the Swiss take on Honduras, with a win needed to confirm progress. The match will rightly be remembered for the combination play between Xherdan Shaqiri & Josip Drmic, but Ricardo Rodriguez was again playing a key role in defence to ensure a first-clean sheet of the tournament. Like the previous fixture, attacking influence was scarce but he was solid in the back line. His reading of the game to make interceptions were again highlighted as Honduras struggled for any creativity down the right. The game showed his ability to play smartly as part of a back line, emphasising his sound defensive work.

In what would turn out to be Ricardo Rodriguez’ last game at the World Cup with Switzerland knocked out in extra-time by Argentina, the Wolfsburg man produced his best performance and one that we’ve regularly seen from him in the Bundesliga. Faced directly against an attack comprising of Messi, Lavezzi & Zabaleta (on his side), Ricardo Rodriguez knew he had the crucial role of ensuring Argentina’s attack doesn’t realise it’s true potential at the Round of 16 game. As expected, there was not much from him in attack again; more than the previous game though, Rodriguez displayed his ability to press opponents, forcing them into errors. It was vital as to how he set-up defensively, because Switzerlands’ system required to maintain a regular shape to thwart Argentine attacks. Six tackles and four interceptions were the stats according to WhoScored, but the method in which he contained his side of the pitch was remarkable. His ability to maintain that shape, and organise the rest of his defenders almost make him as defensively solid as a central defender. The game highlighted Argentina’s ineffective attack, questions of which were raised for the rest of the tournament; credit there must be given to the Swiss left-back,

The first game against Ecuador showed what Ricardo Rodriguez is capable of in attack, but the last game against Argentina crucially showed how he sets up defensively, using his intelligence and strength to contain any attack from the opposition. Often full-backs, even the established ones, find it hard to strike that balance but Ricardo Rodriguez is well versed in his overall game.

More from Talent Radar: Ricardo Rodriguez was named Defender of the Season in our inaugural Talent Radar Young Player Awards while also making the Team of the Season. He was at #4 in our Talent Radar list of young player to watch at the World Cup and now has retained his position there. He was also named in our Talent Radar Bundesliga Youngsters’ Team of the Season. He was a regular in our Talent Radar Teams of the Week too, such as for his performance against Hamburg. The left-back also made it into our World Cup Awards, as he was named in the Best XI comprising of only Talent Radar youngsters.

Talent Radar Defender of the Season 13-14

What does the future hold for him in the national team? It’s no doubt that Switzerland’s future at the international stage is certainly bright with some young players constantly coming through. Ricardo Rodriguez is arguably one of the best young players in the World and certainly one of the best young left-backs. The left-back position of the Swiss side is his for the foreseeable future.

Other players in the list: #10 Memphis Depay | #9 Ahmed Musa | #8 Xherdan Shaqiri | #7 Paul Pogba | #6 Kevin De Bruyne | #5 Joel Campbell | #3 Raphael Varane | #2 Neymar | #1 James Rodriguez


TalentRadar Twitter New

Sami Faizullah

Sami Faizullah

Co-founder and Chief Editor here. Obsessed with tactics. Keen follower of young players. Creator of #TalentRadar.
Sami Faizullah

100 to Watch

Latest

Talent Radar2 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #6: Luka Jovic, Anthony Martial and Reiss Nelson feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Talent Radar3 months ago

Talent Radar: A-League’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Brian Bertie writes about the 10 young players to watch in this season’s A-League. Australia have made rapid strides forward...

Interviews3 months ago

Interview: Abneet Bharti on Indian footballers abroad

SU Sintrense defender, Abneet Bharti, the only Indian footballer to be plying his trade in Europe, talks to Kaustubh Pandey...

Talent Radar3 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #5: Matthias De Ligt & James Maddison feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions3 months ago

Borja Fernandez: The underappreciated genius of ISL’s infancy

On the eve of the latest edition of the ISL, Arinjay Ghosh pays a tribute to Borja Fernandez, an ISL...

Opinions3 months ago

Tactical Philosophy: Domenico Tedesco

While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...

Tactical Analysis3 months ago

Liverpool 3-2 PSG: Liverpool edge deserved victory against dysfunctional PSG

Siyang Xu writes a detailed tactical analysis about the UEFA Champions League match that ended Liverpool 3-2 PSG. Liverpool faced...

Talent Radar3 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #4: Matthias De Ligt & Ousmane Dembele feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions3 months ago

UEFA Champions League: The 5 hipster sides to follow this season

Gear up with your organic ginger ale and mystical moustache oil, as Richard Pike briefs us about 5 off beat...

Talent Radar4 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #3: Maxi Gomez & Marco Asensio feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions4 months ago

Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Miles Olusina writes about Maurizio Sarri and the approach he is likely to take at Chelsea. Despite a successful 2016/17...

Talent Radar4 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #2: Joe Gomez & Bertrand Traore feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Talent Radar4 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #1: Joe Gomez & Kylian Mbappe feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions4 months ago

Julen Lopetegui at Real Madrid: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Aamer Aslam writes about what we can expect from European Champions Real Madrid after the arrival of Julen Lopetegui On...

Opinions4 months ago

Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Charles Onwuakpa writes about Carlo Ancelotti and the approach he is likely to take on at Napoli. After three intense...

Scout Report4 months ago

Scout Report: Gonçalo Paciência | Eintracht’s exquisite forward

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Eintracht Frankfurt’s striker, Gonçalo Paciência. For those who have been attentively observing...

Talent Radar4 months ago

Talent Radar: Liga MX’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Thomas Harrison writes about the 10 players to watch out for in the Liga MX for this coming season. Mexico...

Talent Radar4 months ago

20 Key Young Players to Watch from 20 La Liga Teams

Tom Canton takes a look at they key young players to watch from each of the 20 La Liga teams....

Scout Report4 months ago

Scout Report: Alphonso Davies | Speedy Canadian winger

Griffin O’Neill writes a detailed scout report about Alphonso Davies, the Vancouver Whitecaps winger. While many still believe that the...

Scout Report4 months ago

Scout Report: Diogo Gonçalves | Benfica’s tricky winger

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Benfica’s tricky winger, Diogo Goncalves Having been deprived of their biggest...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

More on Outside of the Boot

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this