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Manchester City Midfielder Rodri Is Anything But Your Typical Modern Footballer

Manchester City Midfielder Rodri Is Anything But Your Typical Modern Footballer

If there's a perception about what a footballer in the current era is like, Rodrigo Hernandez does not meet the criteria.

Hernandez, more commonly known as 'Rodri', has been an integral part of Manchester City's incredible run this season - playing more minutes than any other player in Pep Guardiola's squad.

Image: PA
Image: PA

But in addition to sniffing out opposition attacks and building City ones, the Spain international has been studying for a degree in 'Business Administration and Management'.

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The 24-year-old used the break from football in the first lockdown to get stuck into his studies and is close to finishing.

While his focus has been on his football career, education has always been key for Rodri.

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As per Sky Sports, he was sent to America and Ireland on foreign exchange programmes as a youngster - with his father wanting him to learn English.

When he was at Villarreal, playing in La Liga, he studied Business Studies and Economics at University.

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And in order to ensure he never missed a lecture, Rodri stayed in student accomodation at the Universidad de Castellon.

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Ahead of an interview with Marca prior to European Under-21 Championship in 2017, Rodri was spotted with a ball under one arm and a pile of books on the other.

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

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

He could have quite easily have had a plus flat of his own but you get the feeling that Rodri, City's club-record signing last year is not motivated by money or materials.

At one point, his vehicle of choice was a second-hand Vauxhall Corsa he bought 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," Henarejo added.

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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."

With his shirt neatly tucked in, Rodri adopts an old-school mentality on the pitch. Off the pitch is the same. He doesn't do social media of any form, nor does he have any tattoos.

Image: PA
Image: PA

His approach as a player and a person is simple but it's serving him well.

Telling the official Manchester City website about his studies, Rodri said: "I'm sure it's going to be helpful in the future one way or another. You never know.

"When I finish my career as a player, I'd like to stay in contact with the sports world but if it doesn't happen, that's fine too."

Topics: Manchester City, Rodri, Football, Premier League

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist 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.