Rodri is a talented Spanish footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Premier League club Manchester City and the Spanish national team. Still only 26 years old, Rodri has quickly established himself as one of the top holding midfielders in world football due to his intelligent reading of the game, precise passing, positional discipline, and ball-winning ability.
After coming through the youth academy at Atlético Madrid, Rodri made his name during three impressive seasons with Villarreal and Atlético. His consistently assured performances prompted Manchester City to pay his €70 million release clause in 2019 to acquire his services. Let’s take a closer look at Rodri’s background, playing career so far, and growing stature in the game.
How Old Is Rodri and Where Was He Born?
- Rodri was born on June 22, 1996 in Madrid, Spain.
- He is currently 26 years old.
Rodri’s Early Life
- Rodri grew up in the working class Madrid neighborhood of Colonia Marconi.
- He first started playing organized football with local team CD Leganés at age 6.
- Showed great technique and positional sense from a young age.
- Joined Atlético Madrid’s youth academy in 2013 at age 17.
Net Worth and Salary
- Current estimated net worth of $12 million.
- Earns around $5.5 million a year in salary from Manchester City.
Relationship and Family
- Rodri comes from a working class family and has three siblings.
- He maintains a private personal life outside of football.
- Known to be in a long-term relationship with a Spanish woman named Lorena Pascual.
Breakthrough at Villarreal & Atlético Madrid (2016-2019)
Before joining Manchester City, Rodri made his name in Spain with Villarreal and Atlético Madrid:
- Made senior debut for Villarreal CF in November 2016 aged 20.
- Quickly became first choice defensive midfielder under manager Fran Escribá.
- Played a key role shielding Villarreal’s defense over two seasons.
- Signed for Atlético Madrid for €20 million in May 2018.
- Excelled in 2018-19 season under Diego Simeone.
- Played 47 games across all competitions.
Move to Manchester City (2019-Present)
Rodri has grown into one of Europe’s top holding midfielders since joining Manchester City:
- City paid €70 million release clause to sign him in July 2019.
- Quickly won over manager Pep Guardiola with his composure and work rate.
- Played 29 Premier League matches in 2019-20 title winning season.
- Forms world class midfield partnership with Kevin De Bruyne.
- Credited with bringing more defensive stability to Man City’s midfield.
International Career with Spain
Despite his young age, Rodri already has over 30 caps for the Spanish national team:
- Won the UEFA European Under-21 Championship with Spain in 2019.
- Named man of the match in the final against Germany.
- Made senior debut in September 2018 aged 22 against Russia.
- Now an established starter for Spain under manager Luis Enrique.
- Has 3 international goals for Spain.
- Played 5 matches for Spain at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Playing Style and Strengths
Rodri has molded himself into one of the best holding midfielders in world football due to these key attributes:
Intelligence and Reading of the Game
- Excels at cutting off passing lanes and stopping opposition attacks before they fully develop.
- Frequently recovers possession high up the pitch.
- Always seems to be in right position to shield vulnerable areas of defense.
- Capable of threading accurate long balls over the top of defenses.
- Also keeps things tidy with clever short passing combinations.
- Assists in setting tempo from deep midfield areas.
- Imposes himself physically in midfield battles despite only being 6′ 3″ tall.
- Wins the majority of 50/50 challenges he contests.
- Underrated dribbler capable of driving forward with the ball.
Defensive Work Rate
- Willing to cover every blade of grass to break up opposition moves.
- Covers a tremendous amount of ground each match.
- Adds invaluable protection to defense behind him.
What Records Does Rodri Hold?
Despite still being in the early phase of his career, Rodri already holds a few distinguished records:
- Manchester City’s record transfer fee (€70 million).
- Spain national team’s youngest ever debutant in a World Cup qualifier (22 years, 1 day).
- The fastest booking of a substitute in Champions League history (3 minutes).
Although Rodri has already achieved a high level of success for his age, the gifted Spanish midfielder still likely has his best years ahead. Having proven himself in Spain’s La Liga, the English Premier League, and on the international stage with Spain, Rodri has developed into a complete midfielder with no obvious weaknesses.
If he can keep improving under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City over the next decade and remain clear of major injuries, Rodri has the ability and drive to cement himself as one of the greatest defensive midfielders and potentially captain Spain to World Cup glory.
Frequently Asked Questions About Rodri
When did Rodri make his debut for Manchester City?
Rodri made his competitive debut for Manchester City on August 10, 2019 in the club’s opening 2019-20 Premier League match against West Ham United.
What number does Rodri wear for Manchester City and Spain?
Rodri wears the number 16 shirt for both Manchester City and the Spanish national team. He has worn 16 for every club he has represented so far during his career.
What position does Rodri play?
Rodri plays as a defensive midfielder. His main roles are to protect the defense, break up opposition attacks, retain possession, keep the ball moving with his passing ability, and keep his team’s tempo by dictating games from a deep-lying midfield position.
How has Rodri compared to Sergio Busquets?
Rodri has often been compared to his fellow Spanish international Sergio Busquets due to similarities in their style of play and physique. While Busquets has achieved more so far in his illustrious career, many observers believe Rodri has the potential to reach a similar world-class level controlling games from defensive midfield.
What trophies has Rodri won?
The major trophies Rodri has won so far include:
- UEFA European Under-21 Championship: 2019
- UEFA Champions League: 2021
- Premier League: 2021, 2022
- English League Cup: 2020, 2021
- FA Community Shield: 2019
Will Rodri stay at Manchester City?
As one of the team’s most important players, Manchester City will be looking to keep Rodri at the heart of their midfield for the peak years of his career. Still only 26, Rodri recently signed an extension in 2021 keeping him under contract at City until 2027.