Luis Enrique backs Rodri to be better than Busquets

Luis Enrique believes emerging Atletico Madrid talent Rodri can be Spain's long-term successor to Sergio Busquets.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri could develop into a better player than Sergio Busquets, claims Luis Enrique.   -  Getty Images

Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri could develop into a better player than Barcelona and Spain mainstay Sergio Busquets, according to Luis Enrique.

Rodri, 22, has retained his place in the Spain squad for the upcoming friendly with Wales and Nations League match against England.

The former Villarreal player returned this season for a second spell at Atleti and has started six matches in all competitions, including last weekend's derby draw at Real Madrid.

His playing style shares a likeness with Barca anchor Busquets and Luis Enrique believes the comparisons are apt.

READ: Deschamps not worried about Pogba amid Mourinho speculation

"I have already spoken about their similarities," he told a news conference.

"It's not good to give too much praise and he is very young, but Rodri comes across as very professional and prepared mentally.

"He can reach Busquets' level and maybe surpass it. Who knows what limits he has?"

Rodri's club team-mate Diego Costa will not be joining him during the international window after a thigh problem forced him to join Dani Carvajal (calf) and Isco (appendicitis) on the sideline.

Sergio Ramos has been included despite being rested from the Madrid's loss to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, a decision Luis Enrique welcomed.

"It's wonderful what [Julen] Lopetegui said and did because it's a long season," he said.

"We have to give them rest. I'm worried about the players and the calendar, but that's something we cannot change.

"We have to accept it and try to control it with the loads of games that are played."

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :