Rodri scored an absolute screamer for Manchester City on Sunday.
The Spanish midfielder let rip from 30-yards and it flew into the top corner of Jordan Pickford’s net to put his 2-0 ahead against Everton.
It was simply unstoppable.
Rodri has been brilliant this season, only missing two matches in the Premier League. Incidentally, City lost to Tottenham and drew to Southampton without him.
That’s no coincidence.
While Rodri is developing into a world-class defensive midfielder, he’s not your typical modern-day footballer.
Far from it, in fact.
Firstly, he’s not on social media. He has no Instagram or Twitter account.
He also doesn’t have any tattoos – something that puts him in the minority when it comes to professional footballers.
He enrolled on a Business Studies and Economics course at Castellon University and even lived in student accommodation while he was playing professionally in La Liga for Villarreal. He didn’t miss a single lecture whilst he was there.
Speaking of his time at uni, Rodri said: “The best years of my life so far. My parents suggested going into halls and it was brilliant. There’s a good, happy atmosphere, people your age from all over. I met my girlfriend there. One of the best experiences I’ve had…”
“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.”
And despite playing in Spain’s top flight, Rodri didn’t have a footballer’s car and bought it second-hand from an old lady.
“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.
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“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.”
Valentin also spoke of how humble Rodri was.
“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.
“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.”
During lockdown, he continued to study and even had an oral exam days after Spain’s Euro 2020 opener with Sweden in the summer.
After finishing his degree, he said: “I am finished. I just have to do a last essay, a small essay, but all the subjects, the big essay at the end is done.
“It was tough work, but at the end it was nice.
“You have time for everything. Of course, it is a very demanding profession as a footballer because it demands you not only playing, training and the games, it is also the rest and the care you have to take about yourself.
“Imagine you come back to your home at three o’clock so you have all the afternoon free. You can do many other things.
“Of course, you cannot follow the rhythm of the other students but with patience, with dedication, you can do it.”
Football needs more people like Rodri.