Rodrigo (footballer, born 1991)
Rodrigo Moreno Machado (Spanish pronunciation: [roˈðɾiɣo moˈɾeno maˈtʃaðo]; born 6 March 1991), known as Rodrigo, is a professional footballer who plays as a striker or winger for Premier League club Leeds United and the Spain national team.
|Full name||Rodrigo Moreno Machado|
|Date of birth||6 March 1991|
|Place of birth||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2009||Real Madrid C||4||(1)|
|2009–2010||Real Madrid B||18||(5)|
|2010–2011||→ Bolton Wanderers (loan)||17||(1)|
|2014–2015||→ Valencia (loan)||31||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:15, 23 May 2021 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13 October 2020
He started his career with Real Madrid, appearing solely for its reserve teams. In 2010 he signed with Benfica with whom he won four titles, most notably the domestic treble in the 2013–14 season. He then spent six years at Valencia, scoring 59 goals in 220 games and winning the Copa del Rey in 2019. In 2020, he joined Leeds United.
Born in Brazil, Rodrigo represented Spain at youth level, and in 2013 he won the European Championship with the under-21 team. The following year, he earned his first cap for the senior side, appearing for them at the 2018 World Cup.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Rodrigo moved to Spain in his early teens, settling in Galicia and started playing organised football with RC Celta de Vigo. In 2009, aged 18, he moved to Real Madrid to complete his development.
Only a few weeks after arriving, Rodrigo started playing as a senior with the C team. Shortly after, he was promoted to Real Madrid Castilla in Segunda División B, making his debut with the latter on 29 November 2009 in a 4–3 away win against UD Lanzarote (29 minutes played).
On 31 July 2010, Rodrigo signed a five-year contract with S.L. Benfica for a reported fee of €6 million. Real Madrid had an option to re-buy the player for €12 million during the next two seasons; however, after Fábio Coentrão's transfer to the Spanish club, both parties agreed to cancel the buyback clause.
The following month, Rodrigo joined Bolton Wanderers of the Premier League on a season-long loan. He made his official debut in a League Cup fixture at Burnley on 21 September, starting in a 0–1 away loss.
Rodrigo first appeared in the league for Bolton on 23 October 2010, coming on as a substitute for Lee Chung-yong midway through the second half of a 1–1 away draw with Wigan Athletic. On 5 January 2011, against the same opponent, he scored his only goal of the campaign, with the game ending with the same result.
Returning to Benfica for 2011–12, Rodrigo played 38 competitive matches in his first year and scored 16 goals, including the opener in the season's Taça da Liga final against Gil Vicente FC, which his team won for the fourth year in a row (2–1). On 2 January 2013, he combined with Óscar Cardozo for five goals in a 6–0 home defeat of C.D. Aves in the fifth round of the Taça de Portugal.
On 31 January 2014, Benfica (and Benfica Stars Fund) sold 100% of Rodrigo's economic rights to a private company, Meriton Capital Limited, owned by Peter Lim, for €30 million, plus another potential €10 million on performance-related bonuses– he remained with them until the end of the campaign. On 10 April he scored a brace in a 2–0 home win against AZ Alkmaar in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League, which took the hosts through to the last-four stage 3–0 on aggregate.
Rodrigo scored Benfica's first goal in a 2–0 final victory over Rio Ave F.C. in the league cup, and was subsequently voted Player of the match as the Lisbon side won the competition for the fifth time in seven years. On 14 May he had his penalty shootout attempt saved by Sevilla FC's Beto, in an eventual Europa League final loss; in total, he contributed 18 goals in 43 appearances across all competitions to win an unprecedented treble of Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal and League Cup.
On 23 July 2014, Rodrigo moved back to Spain, after agreeing to a one-season loan deal with Valencia CF. Although his economic rights were owned by Lim, a loan was arranged to take him and André Gomes to Valencia due to Lim's purchase of the latter club.
Rodrigo made his debut for the Che on 23 August 2014, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in a 1–1 away draw against Sevilla. He scored his first La Liga goal on 22 September, netting the last of a 3–0 away win over Getafe CF through a penalty, but was later sent off; he was dismissed the following 30 May for striking Rayo Vallecano's Toño, and banned for three games by the Royal Spanish Football Federation.
On 15 June 2015, Benfica and Valencia announced they had reached an agreement on Rodrigo's federative rights, and he signed a four-year contract with the latter until 30 June 2019, for a reported fee of €30 million. After moderate returns in his first three seasons at the Mestalla Stadium, he scored a career-best 16 goals (19 in all competitions) in 2017–18 as the Marcelino García Toral-led team qualified for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League; in late November 2017, he was rewarded with a new deal through 2022 with a reported release clause of €120 million.
On 29 January 2019, Rodrigo scored a second-half hat-trick – including two goals in injury time – as the hosts defeated Getafe 3–1 in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey, winning the tie 3–2 on aggregate. He also scored in the decisive match, a 2–1 defeat of FC Barcelona at the Estadio Benito Villamarín.
On 17 September 2019, Rodrigo scored the only goal of the match in the first Champions League group stage fixture, providing Valencia's first ever win against Chelsea in the club's history. On 10 December, he repeated the feat in a 1–0 away win over AFC Ajax to reach the knockout phase.
On 29 August 2020, Leeds United announced the signing of Rodrigo on a four-year deal for a club-record fee of £27 million (€30 million). He made his Premier League debut for them in the first match of the season against reigning champions Liverpool on 12 September, coming on as a substitute in the 4–3 defeat at Anfield. Four days later, he made his first start in a 1–1 draw with League One side Hull City in the EFL Cup (penalty shootout loss).
Rodrigo scored his first goal on 3 October 2020, in a 1–1 home league draw against Manchester City. Having missed several games through a groin injury at the beginning of 2021, he was used sparingly by Marcelo Bielsa upon his return before hitting strong form at the end of the campaign, scoring his first brace for the club on 15 May in a 4–0 away victory over Burnley. He finished his first year with seven goals, four of them coming in the final four fixtures.
Rodrigo competed for Spain internationally, starting with the under-19s which he helped to the second position in the 2010 UEFA European Championship by netting two goals, including one in the final against France. He then appeared in the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup, helping the national team to the quarter-finals with his three goals.
Rodrigo made his debut for the Spanish under-21 side on 1 September 2011, scoring three times in Georgia in the 2013 European Championship qualifiers (7–2 rout). On 21 March 2013, in a friendly against Norway, he scored his 13th goal in the category to help to the 5–2 victory in Toledo, thus becoming the highest goal scorer after surpassing Óscar García's record which had stood since 1992.
Rodrigo was included in Spain's squad at the 2012 Summer Olympics, appearing in two games in an eventual group stage exit in London. On 3 October 2014, he was one of 23 players selected by Vicente del Bosque for UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying matches against Slovakia and Luxembourg, making his debut in the latter game by replacing Diego Costa in the 82nd minute and assisting the fourth and last goal for Juan Bernat.
On 6 October 2017, nearly three years after his first cap, Rodrigo marked his second by starting and scoring the first goal in a 3–0 home defeat of Albania in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, in Alicante. He was then included in the squad for the finals in Russia, making his debut in the competition on 20 June when he replaced Costa for the final minute of the 1–0 group stage win against Iran.
Rodrigo moved to Spain at a young age when his father, Brazilian footballer Adalberto, opened a football school in Vigo alongside 1994 FIFA World Cup winner Mazinho. He is a lifelong friend of the latter's sons Thiago Alcântara and Rafinha, who were raised in footballing terms at FC Barcelona and also represented Spain and Brazil respectively, and was erroneously reported to be their cousin.
|Real Madrid B||2009–10||Segunda División B||18||5||—||—||—||18||5|
|Bolton Wanderers||2010–11||Premier League||17||1||3||0||1||0||—||21||1|
|Leeds United||2020–21||Premier League||26||7||1||0||1||0||—||28||7|
- As of match played 13 October 2020. Spain score listed first, score column indicates score after each Rodrigo goal.
|1||6 October 2017||Estadio José Rico Pérez, Alicante, Spain||Albania||1–0||3–0||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2||23 March 2018||Esprit Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany||Germany||1–0||1–1||Friendly|
|3||8 September 2018||Wembley Stadium, London, England||England||2–1||2–1||2018–19 UEFA Nations League A|
|4||11 September 2018||Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero, Elche, Spain||Croatia||4–0||6–0|
|5||23 March 2019||Mestalla, Valencia, Spain||Norway||1–0||2–1||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying|
|6||8 September 2019||El Molinón, Gijón, Spain||Faroe Islands||1–0||4–0|
|8||15 October 2019||Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden||Sweden||1–1||1–1|
- Primeira Liga: 2013–14
- Taça de Portugal: 2013–14
- Taça da Liga: 2011–12, 2013–14
- UEFA Europa League runner-up: 2012–13, 2013–14
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- Piñero, Alberto (22 March 2011). "Entrevista exclusiva Rodrigo: "Estaría encantado de volver al Real Madrid. ¿Quién no?" [Exclusive interview Rodrigo: "I'd be delighted to return to Real Madrid. Who wouldn't?]. Goal. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
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- "Sevilla 1–1 Valencia: Ten-man visitors snatch draw at the death". Goal. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
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- "Tres partidos a Rodrigo (Valencia) y Jémez (Rayo)" [Three games for Rodrigo (Valencia) and Jémez (Rayo)]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 6 May 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
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- Pacheco, Isabel (17 September 2019). "El Valencia habla en el campo (0–1)" [Valencia talk on the pitch (0–1)]. La Razón (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 October 2019.
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- "Ajax 0–1 Valencia". BBC Sport. 10 December 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
- "Rodrigo: Leeds sign Spain international from Valencia for club-record fee". Sky Sports. 29 August 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
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- "Leeds United 1–1 Hull City". BBC Sport. 16 September 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
- McNulty, Phil (3 October 2020). "Leeds United 1–1 Manchester City". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
- "Leeds United: Rodrigo and Ian Poveda out for 'weeks' through injury". BBC Sport. 5 February 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
- Poole, Harry (15 May 2021). "Burnley 0–4 Leeds United: Rodrigo scores twice in impressive win". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
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- Rodrigo at Soccerway. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- Rodrigo – UEFA competition record (archive)
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