|Date of Birth||
2 January 1981
|Place of Birth||
1.80 m (5'11")
Maximiliano Rubén "Maxi" Rodríguez (born 2 January 1981 in Rosario) is an Argentine international footballer who played as a winger and striker for Liverpool from 2010 until 2012. After netting 17 goals in 73 matches and developing himself as something of a cult figure at Anfield, he left on 13 July 2012 to rejoin his old club, Newell's Old Boys in his homeland of Argentina. He is remembered fondly by Liverpool fans, and in 2013, he was voted into 79th place in the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop list.
On 17 January 2010 Rodriguez signed a three and a half year deal on a free transfer from Athletico Madrid. He was handed the number 17 shirt. He made his debut on 16 January 2010 as a second half substitute against Stoke City. His first full game came on 26 January 2010 in the 0-0 tie against Wolverhampton. His first Liverpool goal came on 25 April 2010 in the 4-0 win against Burnley.
The 2010-11 season proved to be a very successful one for Rodriguez. Although his previous half season saw only one goal and a handful of assists, his first full season saw him score 10 goals in 35 appearances. Seven of these goals came in a span of 3 games near the end of the season. The first three came on 23 April 2011 in the 5-0 win against Birmingham. He scored another goal against Newcastle in the 3-0 win on 1 May 2011. He scored his second hat trick in 3 games on 9 May 2011 in the 5-2 win over Fulham, two of these goals being scored in the first 7 minutes.
On 8 July 2011 Rodriguez's squad number was changed from 17 to 11. In the 2011-12 season, Maxi lost his place in the team due to the purchase of new players such as Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson. However, Maxi was restored to the starting line up for the first time in the League on 20 November 2011, and he responded by opening the scoring with a short-range shot to give Liverpool the lead in their 2-1 success over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Eight days later, Maxi repeated this feat in the League Cup quarter final tie away to Chelsea, scoring a close range shot after being set up by Craig Bellamy, who had also set Maxi up in the prior League game against the Blues. This took Maxi's impressive goalscoring form to 10 from his previous 9 starts.
After another lengthy hiatus from the Liverpool team, Maxi made a rare start on 10 April 2012 away to Blackburn. He scored two goals early in the first half- both close range finishes from Liverpool counter attacks- before being substituted in the second half. He went on to have a good run in the first team as the season drew to a close, and was arguably unfortunate to be omitted from the 2012 FA Cup Final starting XI.
On 8 May 2012, Maxi started Liverpool's final home game of the season, and produced an excellent performance as Liverpool hammered Chelsea 4-1, with Maxi setting up Jordan Henderson for the team's second. He was substituted in the 83rd minute and gave an applause to the fans that suggested it was to be his last Anfield appearance, amid substantial speculation that he wished to move on in the summer in search of greater first team football. He seemed to confirm his impending departure later that night on Twitter, tweeting: "Last home game and had q [sic] goodbye to the fans. Thank you very much to the people of Liverpool for much love."
Reports circulated over the following weeks that Maxi had agreed a deal to rejoin the club where he began his footballing career, Newell's Old Boys of Argentina. New manager Brendan Rodgers reportedly made a last ditch attempt to persuade Maxi to remain at Anfield, however on 13 July 2012, Liverpool confirmed he had indeed left to join Newell's Old Boys. Liverpool released a statement, saying "Everyone at Liverpool FC would like to thank Maxi for his contribution to the club and wish him all the best for the future."
- League Cup: 1 (2012)
- No. 79 on 100 Players Who Shook The Kop (2013)
Maxi, a winger by trade, was given a relatively free forward's role by manager Kenny Dalglish, under whom he made his greatest contributions to the team. Dalglish frequently referred to Maxi as an 'intelligent' footballer as he has the ability to find himself in good positions to be set up for relatively simple goals- although he has been known to execute some more spectacular strikes as well. His goalscoring exploits in 2011 caused many fans to conclude that Maxi was one of the best finishers at the club, perhaps ahead of more established strikers such as Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll.
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- Maxi Rodriguez career stats at Soccerbase