Rodri: Manchester City's Next Signing Is Not Your Typical Modern Footballer

It's looking as though Manchester City will secure the services of Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri and in addition to getting a top-class midfielder who could well be Fernandinho's long-term replacement, City will also have an incredible humble person in their squad.

The 22-year old feels very much like N'Golo Kante in the sense that despite fame and fortune through football, he remains grounded as ever.

For starters, Rodri is not on social media. The vast majority of footballers use platforms such as Twitter and Instagram but old-headed Rodri, much like your Grandad, isn't a fan and does not partake.

What's more, he doesn't do tattoos and so you won't catch him getting inked up like future club teammate Ederson.

The Kante comparison isn't merely down to the fact that the two happen to be two of their best in their positions, Rodri too isn't interested in flashy cars. Instead of driving a Mini Cooper, however, he actually bought a second-hand Vauxhall Corsa off an elderly woman.

"His car, until recently, was a second hand Opel Corsa which he bought from a woman when he got his driving licence," Valentin Henarejo, his friend, told MARCA last year.

"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."

But the most admirable part of Rodri's personality involves his studies. The former Villarreal studied for a degree in Business Studies and Economics, never missing a lecture despite playing top-flight football at the time.

Image: MARCA
Image: MARCA

And while he could have had a plush flat on his own, Rodri wanted to stay in student accomodation at the Universidad de Castellon.

"People were shocked when they saw Rodri, who was playing in the top flight but still living at the university residence," Henarejo revealed to 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."

With a £62.5 million release clause, Rodri will become City's club-record signing if he does indeed make the move to the Etihad Stadium.

But you get the gist that the money does not mean anything to him and already he seems to have the sort of modest, unassuming personality that Pep Guardiola appreciates.

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

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