Maximiliano Rubén "Maxi" Rodríguez (born 2 January 1981) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for Newell's Old Boys in the Argentine Primera División. Nicknamed La Fiera (Beast in English) he is commonly used as a winger on both flanks, but can also operate as an attacking midfielder.
Rodríguez arrived in Spain in his early 20s, and went on to spend the bulk of his professional career there, playing for Espanyol and Atlético Madrid and amassing La Liga totals of 232 games and 58 goals over the course of eight seasons. He also spent two years with Liverpool in England.
- 2 International career
- 3 Honours
- 4 Club statistics
- 5 Other ventures
- 6 References
- 7 External links
In 2002 Rodríguez moved to La Liga with RCD Espanyol, his league debut coming on 2 September in a 0–2 loss against Real Madrid. He played 37 matches in every campaign with theCatalans, scoring 15 goals during his last season, including the club's 2000th Spanish league goal.
At the start of the 2005–06 season, Rodríguez moved to Atlético Madrid for a transfer fee of €5 million, where he continued to post consistent numbers. In his second year he suffered, alongside teammate (and winger) Martin Petrov, a serious knee injury (anterior cruciate ligament), which limited him to only 10 appearances.
On 10 November 2009 Rodríguez put four goals past UD Marbella in the Copa del Rey round-of-32 second leg, in an eventual 6–0 home win (8–0 aggregate). After the 2007 departure ofFernando Torres to Liverpool, he was selected as the new club captain; he took no part in the Colchoneros' 2009–10 UEFA Europa League campaign, which ended in conquest.Rodríguez training withLiverpool in 2011Rodríguez playing with Liverpool
On 13 January 2010, Rodríguez completed a free transfer to Liverpool, signing a three-and-a-half-year deal, Rafael Benitez described him as "comfortable on the ball, can pass and keep possession. He is good at getting into the box and scoring goals and a good finisher." At Liverpool, he was given the number 17 shirt. He made his debut for the club as a second-half substitute in a Premier League match against Stoke City on the 16th, his first full start coming a week and a half later, away to Wolverhampton Wanderers (0–0 draw).
In his first games for Liverpool Rodríguez gained two league assists, both of which were for former Atlético teammate Torres. He scored his first goal for the club in a 4–0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on 25 April 2010, playing the full 90 minutes.
2010–11 was a good individual season for Rodríguez, who netted 10 league goals for the Reds, including two hat-tricks, against Birmingham City (5–0 home win) and Fulham (5–2 at Craven Cottage). In the latter he scored twice in the opening seven minutes – the first being just after 32 seconds – and completed his exhibition with a 25-yard strike.
On 8 July 2011 Rodríguez switched his jersey number to 11, and he scored two goals in a pre-season friendly with Malaysia shortly after, which finished 6–3 to Liverpool. On 24 August, he was given his first start of the season in a League Cup tie against Exeter City, and netted the second in an eventual 3–1 away success.
On 20 November 2011 Rodríguez scored against Chelsea following a build-up with teammate Craig Bellamy, with Liverpool winning it 2–1 at Stamford Bridge. Nine days later, against the same opponent, in the same venue and again with the decisive pass being made by the Welshman, he found the net in a 2–0 League Cup triumph, and his team went on to win the latter competition.
On 26 December 2011, Rodríguez scored just his second league goal of the season in a 1–1 draw at Anfield against Blackburn Rovers. He netted his last two against the same adversary, on 10 April 2012 (3–2 away win).
On 13 July 2012, after 73 official games and 17 goals scored, Rodríguez left Liverpool and returned to his first professional club Newell's Old Boys. He wrote an open letter to the Reds fans before his departure, thanking them for their support in his two-and-a-half-year stint with the club.
Rodríguez played his first match for the club since leaving on 5 August 2012, in a 0–0 draw against Club Atlético Independiente. According to him, football in his country was now 'worse than 10 years ago'. In June 2013 he won the Torneo Final, being selected Best Player in the league in the process.
Rodríguez won the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship with the Argentina under-20s on home turf, scoring four goals in seven matches, including the first and last for the eventual winners. He made his full squad debut in a friendly match against Japan on 8 June 2003, in which he also found the net.
After being part of the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup squad, Rodríguez was called for the 2006 FIFA World Cup by national boss José Pekerman and, on 16 June, he scored twice in Argentina's 6–0 victory over Serbia and Montenegro in the group stage. In the round-of-16, he scored the winning goal against Mexico in a 2–1 extra time victory: he controlled a cross-field pass from Juan Pablo Sorín with his chest before volleying it into the top corner of Oswaldo Sánchez's net from outside the penalty area with his left foot, in the 98th minute; in an unofficial online poll by FIFA, it was voted the best goal of the tournament.
After Argentina lost the quarter-final game against Germany on 30 June 2006, Rodríguez punched opponent Bastian Schweinsteiger in the back. FIFA fined him CHF5,000 and suspended him from two matches in the 2007 Copa Américafor violent conduct. However, after a serious knee injury in a friendly with Spain in October 2006, he missed the continental competition, as national team manager Alfio Basile, whom initially intended to select the player, eventually rested him for precaution.
Rodríguez scored in Diego Maradona's first game in charge of Argentina, a 0–1 friendly win in Scotland. On 19 May 2010 he was named in the squad of 23 for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and, in the last home game before the finals five days later, scored twice against Canada, netting from a freekick from a sharp angle and after receiving a pass from Carlos Tevez in an eventual 5–0 win.
Argentina's goal tally first
|1.||8 June 2003||Nagai, Osaka, Japan||Japan||4–1||4–1||Friendly|
|2.||17 August 2005||Ferenc Puskas, Budapest, Hungary||Hungary||1–0||2–1||Friendly|
|3.||30 May 2006||Arechi, Salerno, Italy||Angola||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|4.||16 June 2006||Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany||Serbia and Montenegro||1–0||6–0||2006 FIFA World Cup|
|5.||16 June 2006||Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany||Serbia and Montenegro||3–0||6–0||2006 FIFA World Cup|
|6.||24 June 2006||Zentralstadion, Leipzig, Germany||Mexico||2–1||2–1 (a.e.t.)||2006 FIFA World Cup|
|7.||22 August 2007||Ullevaal, Oslo, Norway||Norway||1–2||1–2||Friendly|
|8.||4 June 2008||Qualcomm, San Diego, United States||Mexico||3–0||4–1||Friendly|
|9.||19 November 2008||Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland||Scotland||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|10.||28 March 2009||El Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina||Venezuela||3–0||4–0||2010 World Cup qualification|
|11.||24 May 2010||El Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina||Canada||1–0||5–0||Friendly|
|12.||24 May 2010||El Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina||Canada||2–0||5–0||Friendly|
|13.||10 September 2013||Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay||Paraguay||5–2||5–2||2014 World Cup qualification|
|14.||15 October 2013||Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay||Uruguay||1–1||2–3||2014 World Cup qualification|
|15.||15 October 2013||Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay||Uruguay||2–2||2–3||2014 World Cup qualification|
- Atlético Madrid
- Newell's Old Boys
- As of 23:00, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
|Club||Season||Domestic League||Domestic Cup||International
|Newell's Old Boys||2001–02||33||15||0||0||0||0||33||15|