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Manchester City’s Rodri is an unusual footballer



Manchester City's Rodri is an unusual footballer

Exceptions prove the rule. It’s the same in the football business. Rodri is refreshingly different from many of his peers.

Expensive cars, elaborate forearm tattoos, magnificent villas, tons of followers on social media – the cliché of the football star is a cliché for a reason. However, there are a few exceptions to the prevailing image of this guild. And one of them is one of the best and most famous players on the planet: Rodri.

Manchester City’s midfield vacuum cleaner lives his life the way he does his job at the English champions’ headquarters: unobtrusive, reliable, no frills.

Manchester City: Rodri lived in the student residence

The career of the 40-time Spanish national player had not even started when the first setback came: Rodri was initially sorted out in the youth team of Atlético Madrid. His parents insisted that he not neglect his education alongside pursuing a professional career. So Rodri, who then found a place in the youth team at FC Villarreal, began studying business administration at the Universidad Jaume I in Castellón de la Plata. Instead of taking a comfortable apartment, the now up-and-coming soccer player decided to move into a student residence.

He stayed there long after he played for Villarreal in LaLiga. His friend and roommate Valentin Henarejo described it mark: “People were shocked when they saw Rodri there. He’s been playing in the premier league for a long time, but he’s still living in a student residence.”

He made a completely normal impression, spent time with friends on the couch. “But of course it was strange when you saw him just playing table tennis or doing his laundry,” continued Henarejo.

Rodri: I prefer the Opel Corsa to the Lamborghini

Rodri’s choice of vehicle also oozes modesty. After he had his driver’s license in his pocket, he bought a used Opel Corsa from an elderly woman and continued to drive it after his breakthrough as a professional. So his small car sat alongside the expensive sports cars and luxury sedans in the parking lot in front of Villarreal’s training ground.

While club officials advised him to get a different body for safety reasons, Rodri chose a pragmatic approach and said succinctly that a car is only there to “transport him from A to B”. According to Henarejo, speaking to his friends, Rodri called it “crazy” to spend a lot of money on a mobile status symbol. So he drove his Corsa for quite a while.

In 2018 he returned to Atlético for a fee of 20 million euros, and a year later Man City paid the fixed fee of 62.5 million euros. FC Bayern is also said to have previously shown great interest in the technically gifted and strong tackler.

Despite the expensive transfers and an annual salary of an estimated 13.5 million euros at Skyblues, Rodri has hardly changed. The 26-year-old continued his studies and used the time of the Corona lockdown in particular to collect the necessary certificates. In addition to his family, Rodri’s advisor Pablo Barquero also played an important role in Henarejo’s development: “Other agents take care of the money. He took care of Rodri.”

Rodri is the heir of Sergio Busquets

He doesn’t have any social media channels, making him one of a rare species among today’s top footballers. Rodri also donates part of his salary to charity.

In terms of sport, Rodri is beyond any doubt. At Manchester City he is an absolute regular and in Spain’s national team he is considered the legitimate heir to captain and Barça star Sergio Busquets. That also fits, Busquets is also considered a quiet representative with a sense of the pragmatic.