Spain midfielder Rodri will see club rivalry replicated on the international stage against Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.
The Manchester City midfielder is likely to come up against Manchester United counterpart Scott McTominay and Aston Villa playmaker John McGinn.
McTominay came off the bench to score a late double in the 3-0 Euro 2024 opening qualifier against Cyprus on Saturday after the Scots’ top scorer McGinn had fired Steve Clarke’s side ahead midway through the first half at the national stadium.
Rodri, who helped Spain to a 3-0 home win over Norway on Saturday night, spoke about the challenge of facing McTominay and McGinn, saying: “I know them very well, of course. They are fine players with a lot of physicality to go box to box.
“I think they are of massive importance to the national team and, of course, they have experience of playing big games in the Premier League – against us, for example.
“With Scott, it’s a big rivalry, of course, in the Manchester derby.
“They are good players, as we have also. We don’t focus too much on individual players, we focus more on the things they do collectively.
“But for sure, I know the players Scotland have. They have very good players, some big names and a good squad.
“We are aware of that, but we try and focus on ourselves to do a good performance against one of the best teams in the group.
“Tomorrow is going to be an important game. If we can win tomorrow we’ll have taken six points from the two best teams in the group – Scotland and Norway – so it’s going to be a very tough game.”
Rodri is also relishing the prospect of playing at Hampden Park – which will be full to its capacity of around 50,000 – for the first time.
He said: “It’s the first time I’ve played here. I spoke with some of the lads and I think it’s also the first time for them.
“There is always a great environment when you play in the UK – the passion for football is great.
“It’s going to be very emotional tomorrow and if the stadium is full, it means it will be good for the players.
“It could be (our toughest away game). To be honest, I don’t know. Let’s see tomorrow.
“But of course before everything started, you could see this is one of the toughest games in the group.
“We have to produce a good performance tomorrow if we are going to get the three points”
After starting his tenure as Spain boss with a victory over Norway, Luis De La Fuente now faces his first away game and expects to face a “very aggressive, very dynamic” Scottish team.
He said: “Scotland are a very strong rival. They’ve got a good team that has evolved over the years.
“From my experience, no game is an easy game. Any of the smaller nations – or so-called smaller nations – can pose a threat.
“At international level, all teams are going to give their all so we have to do our best in every game. We respect our opponents.
“We know Norway and we know Scotland. So, as I say, we go into every game respecting our opponents.
“Scotland are a very intense team. They are very aggressive, very dynamic and can play with a high press.
“They have individuals in top teams in the Premier League so they are capable of competing at the highest level and at international level.
“I don’t like to speak of individuals. I think the whole team has quality.
“There are some top players from the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal but they are all at a good level. Any of these players could be decisive in the game.
“I prefer to speak of the team as a whole and the most important thing is the teamwork and the balance that comes from their squad as a whole.”