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RIGHT TO CHOOSE: Rodrigo pleas for vaccination choice

RIGHT TO CHOOSE: Rodrigo pleas for vaccination choice

Credit: PA Richard Sellers

Leeds forward Rodrigo says individual players “have to be free to choose” whether they get vaccinated against Covid-19 or not.

Football’s governing bodies have urged all players to be fully vaccinated and last month the Premier League is understood to have wrote to all its clubs offering incentives to ensure their playing and coaching staff had both jabs.

A report this week suggested only seven top-flight clubs have succeeded in fully vaccinating 50 per cent or more of their squads, with the overall average said to be approximately one-third of all players.

“I think it’s a difficult topic,” Rodrigo said. “It’s true people have to be free to choose if they are vaccinated or not.

“In my opinion I think the vaccination is very important. I took the two doses of the vaccine, my family, my friends.

“It’s really important to be vaccinated against Covid, it helps the world to keep moving, but that’s just my opinion.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid recently expressed his disappointment at reports that at least five members of England’s squad have refused to be vaccinated.

Rodrigo said: “I think people have to do what they think is correct, but in my opinion it’s very important to be vaccinated.”

The Brazil-born Spain international meanwhile, believes the Premier League “is by far” the strongest league in the world.

Signed from Valencia for a club record £26million in August 2020, Rodrigo said: “I think last season the difference between the Premier League and LaLiga increased a little bit.

“But this summer it’s clear that the Premier League took a big advantage over the other leagues.

“We can see week in, week out, it’s really hard to get results. All the teams are really competitive and the big teams, the top six, are even better than last season.

“I totally agree that the Premier League nowadays is by far, with a big difference, the best league in the world.”

Leeds kick-started their second season back in the top flight with their first win in their opening seven matches last week against Watford.

Owner Andrea Radrizzani said after Leeds had won promotion that it would take three years before they could begin to challenge the top six.

Rodrigo added: “We have to keep in our minds that we are a team that stayed for a long time in the Championship, and some years in League One also.

“We did a great first season in the Premier League. This is our second season and each year will be a bigger challenge.

“We have to maintain the calm. The club has been doing a really great job the last four or five years, trying to grow step by step, because that will be the base for the future.”


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