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Profile: How Victor Rodriguez will benefit Odisha FC?

Published at :July 14, 2022 at 5:12 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : OFC Media)

Sumesh Alur

The Spaniard last represented Elche in La Liga 2020-21.

Odisha FC is going through a decent transfer window activity ahead of the upcoming edition of the Indian Super League. After losing a few key players from the previous season, they did well to bring in some good talents. Victor Rodriguez is one such transfer. The 32-year-old Spaniard is all set to join the Juggernauts for the upcoming 2022-23 ISL season.

Former Barca youth coach, Josep Gombau, has returned as the head coach of Odisha for a second stint with the club. Provided with quality players like Rodriguez in the squad, Gombau can do wonders in the upcoming season.

With Javi Hernandez and Aridai Cabrera gone, Odisha FC were in search of offensive players. After bagging in Diego Mauricio and Pedro Martin, they turned their attention to the flanks. Thus, Rodriguez's signature. The stage is set for the 32-year-old to elevate the Juggernauts' position in the league through his attacking brilliance.

Prior Experience

Born in Barbara de Valles, Barcelona, Victor Rodriguez spent four years of his youth at FC Barcelona. There he played alongside the now Barcelona full-ack, Jordi Alba. Next, as an 18-year-old, he signed with the neighbouring third-tier club CF Badalona, spending three full seasons with the team.

Victor Rodriguez won MLS Cup's Most Valuable Player award. (Courtesy: Odisha FC Media)

After Badalona, Rodriguez shifted to Real Zaragoza in 2012. During his time at Zaragoza, he made several first-team appearances in the La Liga. After playing for two years at Zaragoza, the winger signed a three-year deal with Elche CF in 2014.

But in the following year, he was loaned to Getafe CF. Getafe got relegated in the 2015/16 season following which the Spaniard signed at Sporting de Gijon. The latter side also met the same fate. Rodriguez now made his way to the United States, where Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC signed him.

In MLS, Rodriguez delivered some of his best performances which won his side the MLS Cup in 2019. He was also crowned as the MLS Cup’s Most Valuable Player of the season. In January, 2020, he went on to sign for his former side, Elche. He was last in action in the 2020-21 season and has now joined Odisha FC for the upcoming season. The 32-year-old will be coming to India after clearing his medical from Barcelona.

Type of Player

The Spaniard has played as a winger for the major part of his career. His clinical finishing and sense of being in the right position at the right time makes him stand out from the rest of the players. 

Despite being right-footed he is deployed in the left-winger position. This is because of his ability to cut in and score beautiful goals. Exploiting the gaps between the opposition centre-backs is a knack for him.

Victor Rodriguez won the MLS Cup with Seattle Sounders FC in 2019. (Courtesy: Odisha FC Media)

Rodriguez's skills and shooting ability allow him to score from outside the penalty box as well. The winger is also adept in free kicks, where he aims for the edges or corners of the wooden frame. 

The 32-year-old’s forte are exploiting the half-spaces, underlapping runs towards the penalty area, and scoring. He will be instrumental in strengthening the attack of the club.

What does he bring to the team?

Victor Rodriguez spent four years in Barca's youth team. (Courtesy: Odisha FC Media)

Victor Rodriguez’s experience of having played in the Spanish and American leagues will be an advantage to Odisha FC. His rapport with head coach Josep Gombau will also be beneficial since they are compatriots.

The combination of Rodriguez and Mauricio upfront will be a treat to watch. In the previous season, Odisha attempted 229 shots out of which 87 were on target. The side could net only 31 goals. This metric will certainly improve with the arrival of Rodriguez.

The 32-year-old’s tactical expertise and attacking prowess will impact the side immensely. This will also be a comeback season for him keeping in mind he was a free agent for a year. If Rodriguez impresses Gombau and becomes a regular in the starting line-up, his side can benefit from his scoring ability.

Thus, apart from Mauricio and Martin, Gombau will have another scorer in his ranks. This will ultimately increase Odisha FC's conversion rate in the upcoming season.




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