SportsGuido Rodríguez, the squire of Argentina

Guido Rodríguez, the squire of Argentina


Argentina’s midfielder Guido Rodríguez in the semifinal against Colombia.HENRY ROMERO / Reuters

The biggest pain for Guido Rodríguez (Sáenz Peña, province of Buenos Aires, 27 years old) was leaving River Plate without having been a starter. He wanted to be the new Javier Mascherano. The seasons passed and he was still on the bench. He was convinced that he had to get out. The proposal to migrate came from a club that was only nine years old and that was in one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Tijuana. The move from Buenos Aires to the Mexican border with the United States was a sudden gamble, the best he could have taken to regain his career. Today, after a bustle, it is a nuclear part of Argentina that is looking for the Copa América.

Guido Rodríguez was made his debut by Ramón Díaz at River in February 2014. Three months later, the strategist resigned and the award-winning era of Marcelo Gallardo began. In two seasons he only played 19 games between the League, Cup and international tournaments. I was relegated. Pablo Aimar, one of the historical ones, made him see that there was always an alternative to River. Gallardo allowed Rodríguez to go on loan to Defense and Justice. 16 games as a starter for Guido Rodríguez were enough to set off the recruiter’s alarm bells. Rodríguez gained confidence under the command of Ariel Holan, a former hockey coach who would consecrate Independiente years later. “I put him at the level of Xabi Alonso, Busquets, Toni Kroos,” said Holan about the midfielder.

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The Xolos of Tijuana paid River two million dollars for Rodríguez. The team was built on the business of one of the great casinos in Mexico, Grupo Caliente. The owner, Jorge Hank Rhon, became mayor of Tijuana. In 2016 they wanted to win the Mexican League again, something they had achieved in record time in 2012. “We brought Guido from abroad, he was nobody when he arrived either. At the time, I had to go see him [reclutarlo]”Said Miguel Louse Herrera, former Mexican coach and coach of Rodríguez in Xolos and in America. “Arriving in the city, I got off the plane with a feeling in my stomach, uncertainty, anguish, a bit of everything, but then it was an incredible year,” Rodríguez said in an interview with LaLiga.

Rodríguez excelled in his first year in Tijuana. The team established itself as one of the best, but was eliminated in the final phase of the tournament; there were no titles. Guido was the team’s machinist and that did not go unnoticed by Jorge Sampaoli, then the Argentina coach. In 2017 he called him up for a friendly against Brazil. Suddenly, Guido shared a dressing room with Messi, Banega and Di María. His good year made the most winning and mediatic team in Mexico, America, hire him, at the request of Herrera. It was difficult for Guido to adapt, he could not be a champion and did not appear on the final list for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Guido Rodríguez, during a match at América, in December 2019.
Guido Rodríguez, during a match at América, in December 2019.Jam Media / Getty Images

Rodríguez, as a defensive midfielder, was crucial in winning the Mexican League for América in 2018. He won the best player of the tournament award. With the trophy in hand, America opened the doors for him to leave and it was Betis who signed him. The Louse Herrera opened up to the media: “We have no substitute for Guido. He has been one of the best, I am not surprised how the boy plays ”.

Already sheathed in the Betis elastic band, he returned to the focus of Argentina. Coach Lionel Scaloni called him to be one of the alternatives in the team since 2019. The midfielder has been on the Albiceleste roster, but in the qualifying rounds he was a substitute. In the Copa América he has won the position to Leandro Paredes. In the first game that Rodríguez played, he scored in a 1-0 victory against Paraguay. “Guido was always with us, we have appreciated his commitment for a long time. Today he had his chance and he did not miss it, “said Scaloni after the game.

What seduced Scaloni was the balance he brings to the team. It’s a all terrain who will dispute each ball. In pass effectiveness per game of 90%, according to data from the web Sofascore. From the midfield and with defensive functions he knew how to neutralize Cavani and Luis Suárez and stood firm against the Colombian attack in the semifinals. Scaloni knows that he has a faithful bodyguard there to try to stop Neymar’s squad.

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