A lot of people were surprised when Atletico Madrid made Renan Lodi their man to come in as their starting left-back this past summer, with most who follow Spanish football having never heard of him.
But Lodi has shown his worth, and he’s proven his suitability to Diego Simeone‘s side.
There aren’t many people left who doubt him, and he’ll return after the international break as a Brazil international.
Juventus‘ Alex Sandro isn’t just a Champions League rival for Lodi, but also a direct competitor for the national team, though Lodi is set to have a chance in one of Brazil‘s two friendlies against Senegal or Nigeria.
It’s hard to expect him to do anything other than pass the test, so good have his performances in Spain been this season.
Diego Costa has played his part in Lodi’s integration.
The Brazil-born Spain forward briefed him on all things Atletico before arriving, and he told him how to settle into Simeone‘s system.
The striker explained that no matter how much shouting El Cholo aimed at him, that he shouldn’t be discouraged.
All parties have succeeded – Lodi, Atletico and Costa – in their roles and, after a shaky debut with a red card, Atletico‘s new full-back is fast becoming part of the furniture.