The triumphant return of Rodrigo is an indication of the growing strength of the Atletico Madrid academy, which is typically given little attention compared to those of rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Atletico are reported to have paid around €20million to bring Rodrigo back to the capital, the midfielder having developed into a Spain international during his time at Villarreal.
And Rodrigo's return comes at the ideal time as he slots in as the ideal replacement for Gabi, the club captain having departed for Al Sadd at the age of 35 following Atleti's Europa League triumph.
Rodrigo is far from the only Atletico academy product who could line up against Real Madrid in Wednesday's UEFA Super Cup in Tallinn.
Saul Niguez, regarded as one of the most talented young players in Europe, is a homegrown star and he could be partnered in midfield by Ghana international Thomas Partey.
Between them the duo have already racked up over 250 LaLiga appearances despite their combined age of just 48, with Rodrigo similarly youthful at just 22.
But the jewel in Atletico's crown is Koke - the 26-year-old has made over 250 LaLiga appearances and last year he signed a massive new contract to commit his future to the club to 2024.
Lucas Hernandez, a World Cup winner with France at Russia 2018, is also poised to take on an increasingly influential role at the back for Diego Simeone's side.
Although Lucas played at left-back for Les Bleus throughout the World Cup, many believe his future lies in central defence and he has been touted as a long-term successor to Diego Godin.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez hyped his club's record in promoting youth as former Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois completed his move to the club earlier this month.
But studying the squad shows Perez's comments do not stand up to scrutiny. Kiko Casilla has made more LaLiga appearances than any other Madrid academy product available to new coach Julen Lopetegui, but the signing of Courtois pushes the goalkeeper further down the pecking order.
Zinedine Zidane placed a lot of trust in Lucas Vazquez but, while his versatility is useful, he is not likely to be in Madrid's strongest side ahead of Isco, Gareth Bale or Marco Asensio.
Similarly, Nacho Fernandez has proven a very handy player to have in the squad, with the Spain international able to fill in across the back line, yet he typically only starts for Madrid when there is an injury or suspension.
Dani Carvajal is the only Madrid academy product who was an automatic starter for Zidane last term, but the club splashed out €40m on Alvaro Odriozola, a likely long-term replacement for the 26-year-old at right-back.
Zidane was trialled at Castilla before being handed the reins to the first team, however, when the Frenchman surprisingly opted to step down in May after a third consecutive Champions League title, the club opted for Lopetegui instead of another former player in Guti.
Barcelona's La Masia is rightly lauded as a blueprint for how a football academy should operate, but the stream of talent coming through to the first team has slowed to a trickle in recent years.
After Andres Iniesta departed for Japan, the club hailed the fact all four of the team's captains - Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto - are Barcelona through and through.
Yet the Catalan giants have increasingly turned to Brazil for new players.
Arthur and Malcom arrived ahead of the 2018-19 season, joining January signing Philippe Coutinho at the club, while Arturo Vidal joined from Bayern Munich to replace another Brazilian, Paulinho. With Messi and Luis Suarez in attack, there is a strong South American flavour, rather than Spanish.
Indeed Roberto, 26, is the last Barcelona starlet to come through into the first team and he has had to carve out a niche at right-back, having previously been considered a midfielder.
At both Madrid and Barca, young players increasingly appear on the fringes, whereas at Atletico the squad is being built around homegrown stars.
Praise for Diego Simeone has typically centred on the coach's ability to build a team in his own image, smart transfer dealings and improving the players he has at his disposal.
But it is apparent Simeone, in charge of Atleti since 2011, is now looking to the future with a determination to build a team around players who have come through the club's academy.
Downing city rivals Madrid to claim a second UEFA Super Cup this week would go some way to showing Atletico's academy is now the strongest in Spain.
|Tuilagi could make England return against Australia|
|Rooney has earned England reward - Sarachan|
|Croatia thrashing means nothing now – Luis Enrique|
|Chelsea and Everton among Arnautovic suitors, claims agent|
|TJ Watt hopes to win NFL sacks race with brother JJ|
|Modric defends Ramos after Lovren comments|
|Southgate hails ´outstanding´ Delph as he talks up England strength in depth|
|No war with Manchester United over Fellaini, insists Martinez|
|Rooney to wear number 10 shirt against USA and receive armband from Delph|
|I don´t feel pressure of Liverpool expectations, claims Klopp|
|Steelers´ Roethlisberger texted Bell but ´didn’t hear back´|
|Reus and Kroos to sit out Germany´s clash with Russia|
|Van Dijk happy to recommend De Ligt if Liverpool ask|
|Sauber announce launch of junior programme|
|No ´breathtaking tennis´ in Djokovic´s win against Zverev|
|Curran: England spinners will be key in Kandy|
|Djokovic charges past Zverev to move closer to ATP Finals progression|
|Messi is a football alien - Malcom|
|Sky´s the limit for Sancho, says Dortmund team-mate Pulisic|
|Radwanska retires from tennis at 29|
|Maybe one day - Pulisic open to Premier League move|
|Suso ´proud´ of Real Madrid speculation but happy at AC Milan|
|Betis president convinced Lo Celso will stay|
|Injured Holder out of Bangladesh tour|
|Germany face relegation, final spots up for grabs - Nations League state of play|
|James Rodriguez out for several weeks with knee injury|
|Curran´s brilliant fifty rescues England´s innings|
|Lenglet: No problem with Dembele at Barca|
|Townsend rings the changes for Springboks clash|
|Claudio Ranieri´s managerial career in Opta numbers|
|Mahmudullah´s first century in eight years boosts Bangladesh|
|Fellaini gets the chop ahead of 31st birthday|
|Maradona: Solari will not last at Real Madrid|
|Molinari: Race to Dubai success would not surpass Ryder Cup glory with Fleetwood|
|Dortmund star Sancho was a Bayern target, confirms Salihamidzic|
|Gerrard enjoying ´buzz´ of management|
|Hamilton questions approach to Formula One expansion|
|Ranieri honoured to lead ´exceptional´ Fulham squad|
|Solari saw Isco out of shape - Ceballos|
|Ranieri replaces Jokanovic at Fulham|
|Durant keeps details of Green spat ´in-house´ but envisages resolution|
|Rooney: Kane and Sterling are England superstars|
|Messi will make Argentina return, says Maradona|
|Warriors drop Hawks as Green serves suspension|
|In-form Healy sends Australia into semis|
|Former NBA star McGrady says Carmelo Anthony should retire|
|Celtics´ Smart: We have to look at ourselves in the mirror|
|Federer plays down preferential treatment talk|
|Mourinho is better than Guardiola – Maradona|
|Mbappe plays down Pele comparisons|
|Don´t worry bro – Mendy responds to Trump|
|Melvin, Snitker win manager of the year awards|
|Warriors´ Green suspended for Hawks clash|
|Asensio: It´s not for me to lead Madrid|
|Rooney ready to enjoy England farewell after pressure of ´Golden Generation´|
|Ludwigsburg stun high-flying Murcia in BCL|
|Rams v Chiefs moved to LA due to Mexico City field conditions|
|Skriniar discussing new Inter contract, confirms agent|
|Former Barcelona boss Martino named MLS Coach of the Year|
|Bell fails to report to Steelers, will sit out rest of season|
|Federer back on track after dismal Thiem display|
|Udinese appoint Nicola after sacking Velazquez|
|Monaco deny they broke rules regarding youth recruitment|
|Del Bosque, Zidane, Lopetegui - The former Castilla coaches Solari follows into Real Madrid hot seat|
|Ozil rejected ´crazy offers´ from Asia, reveals agent|
|Real Madrid appoint Solari on permanent basis|
|LeVert avoids need for surgery, should return this season|
|Neuer confident despite concerns over Bayern Munich form|
|All I ever wanted to do is win, says Sixers signing Butler|
|Pogba: Coming home to United was the best feeling ever|