Man City’s next signing Rodri is not your average modern day footballer

Real Betis Balompie v  Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga

Manchester City are poised to complete the signing of Atletico Madrid and Spain midfielder Rodri.

The Premier League champions are prepared to pay the 22-year-old’s £62.6 million release clause, per BBC Sport, which would make him their new club-record signing.

Rodri has been compared to Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets and has no significant weaknesses according to WhoScored. His ‘strong’ strengths are listed as aerial duels, passing, tackling, blocking the ball and concentration.

Assessing a player’s personality is just as important as judging their quality - but it sounds like Pep Guardiola and his staff have done their homework with Rodri.

The Spain international is not your average modern day footballer.

Unlike 99 per cent of footballers, Rodri is not on social media. He has no interest in Instagram and the like.

He also doesn’t like ink, which will no doubt come as a disappointment to Manchester’s tattoo parlours.

The level-headed midfielder broke through at Villarreal but combined football with his studies.

Barcelona v Villarreal - La Liga

He obtained a degree in Business Studies and Economics, never missing a single lecture.

Although he could have afforded a posh apartment of his own, Rodri chose to live in a shared space at the Universidad de Castellon in eastern Spain.

To see a La Liga footballer floating around the halls of residence left students baffled.

"People were shocked when they saw Rodri, who was playing in the top flight but still living at the university residence," his friend Valentin Henarejo told Marca. "After the first few days of getting to know him, there was normality.

"He shared a space with everyone, he liked being with his friends and sitting on the sofa with everyone.

"But, of course, at the start it was strange seeing him playing table tennis or doing his washing."


While most top-level footballers drive around in Ferraris, Bentleys and so on, Rodri opted to purchase a second-hand Vauxhall Corsa from an elderly lady, according to The Sun.

"His car, until recently, was a second hand Opel [Vauxhall] Corsa which he bought from a woman when he got his driving licence,” Valentin continued.

"They advised him to buy a better one for his safety and the journeys from Madrid to Castellon, but he didn't understand why he would spend so much on a car.

"In fact, one time he told me that some friends were 'crazy' for buying nice cars, all that mattered was that it takes you from A to B and that's all."


As well as being incredibly grounded, Rodri also sounds like a model professional and one who will cause Guardiola no problems whatsoever at the Etihad Stadium.

"When he signed for Atletico he only told me, he came from having played against Barcelona and he told me that Marca had published it," Valentin added.

"He told me whilst we warmed up the pizza that they gave him after games, you couldn't tell that he had signed for Atletico.

"He lived his day-to-day life, although always setting high goals.

"When we were together, football came second. In his life what matters most is his family.

FC Barcelona v  Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga

"He's a normal guy, very humble and with his feet on the ground, so we get on well.

"Rodri was always very clear that his life wasn't only football, as he wanted to live a life just like anyone.”

N’Golo Kante is widely regarded as the most modest and grounded footballer in the Premier League, but Rodri might give the Frenchman a serious run for his money next season.

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