​Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has backed new signing Rodri to play a pivotal role for the league champions for 'the next decade' after being hugely impressed with the Spaniard's form in pre-season.

The Citizens made a club-record signing of £62.6m to bring the 23-year-old to the Etihad Stadium from Altetico Madrid, a deal that eclipsed their previous best of £60m splashed out on Riyad Mahrez in 2018.

Guardiola's side finished off their pre-season fixtures with a 3-1 win over Yokohama F Marinos in Japan courtesy of goals from ​Kevin De Bruyne​Raheem Sterling and Lukas Nmecha, with the Spanish coach heaping praise on De Bruyne before lauding his new addition.

“Kevin made another great game,” Guardiola said, via ​Goal“It’s important to have his quality for the vision to make the last pass when the opponent defends in a high line."

Looking for their third successive ​Premier League title, one of the few criticisms of ​City last season was their apparent over-reliance on Fernandinho, with calls from supporters and pundits alike to find a suitable backup for the Brazilian. In the shape of Rodri they have done just that, and the former ​Barcelona manager has backed his fellow Spaniard to fulfil that crucial role in the Citizens' side for many years to come.

"Rodri was incredible today. We knew it but today I can assure you we have an incredible holding midfielder for the next decade, or at least the years he will be here with a contract."


Next up for City is ​Liverpool in their FA Community Shield clash at Wembley, and the 48-year-old praised his side's Japanese opponents for preparing them for the crunch clash.

“The game was incredibly tough and it was an incredible test for preparing not just for Liverpool but the beginning of next season," he added. “It was perfect for us to play this kind of game because if you don’t do what you have to do they have incredible quality and they took a lot of risks."