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It is difficult to think of an Alcoyano-Real Madrid without remembering the name of José Rodriguez. The Villajoyosa midfielder made his debut for the Whites’ first team in a Copa del Rey tie played at El Collao. It was 2012 when Jose Mourinho gave him the alternative. Rodríguez “expected to play the discount”, but the Portuguese offered him 45 minutes, which he took advantage of to establish himself as one of the most promising blackbirds at La Fábrica. He left high-quality details and even marked. “I didn’t know what to do to celebrate it. I remember it as a moment of complete happiness. It was not the dream debut because not even in my best dreams would I have imagined such a debut. Debuting with the best club in the world is reaching the top. I am speechless remembering that game “, recalls Rodríguez, now in a Maccabi Haifa with which he hopes to conquer the Israeli First Division:” We are leaders and the objective is to win it. If we don’t, it will be a failure. ”

“I made the wrong decisions, but I am redirecting my career. I have more than 10 years of football left”

Jose Rodriguez

It has been almost a decade since his debut for Madrid at El Collao. At that moment, José Rodríguez highlights, “It changed my life”. “It was, without a doubt, the most important moment of my career. Without that game I would not be who I am now. I was downstairs, no one knew me, and suddenly everyone knew who I was. Afterwards, I have been in other clubs and none can compare with Real Madrid. He was a kid with 1,000 followers on Twitter and, after a few minutes with Madrid, he had 100,000 ‘followers’ from all over the world “, recalls a José Rodríguez who” was not aware of the one that was coming over me. ” At the moment you don’t realize anything because you are young (I was 17 years old) and you live in the worlds of Yupi. Those experiences I am enjoying now. I am a father and, for my children, Cristiano and Benzema are superheroes. And I have played with them“says the Maccabi Haifa player proudly.

It was all thanks to José Mourinho, whom José Rodríguez considers a father in football terms. “He told me that he was going to make me the most famous gypsy in the world”, remember. “He did it to take the pressure off me. He saw me train and he liked it. He wanted me to play the same as in training.” The Villajoyosa midfielder considers “a gift from God” to have been able to make his debut with the Real Madrid first team: “I have played with Ramos, Kaká, Modric, Benzema, Cristiano, Morata … These are moments that I will remember all my life and that not everyone has been lucky enough to live in. I am still the youngest player to make my debut for Real Madrid in the Champions League (he did so at 17 years and 354 days). That can only be said by one person in the world and it’s me“And, at 26 years old, he does not dare to rule out a possible return to the elite of Spanish football:” I made the wrong decisions, but I am redirecting my career. I have more than 10 years of football left “.

José Rodríguez and José MourinhoJosé Rodríguez and José Mourinho chat in the preview of a Tottenham-Maccabi Haifa corresponding to the preliminary phase of the Europa League.
José Rodríguez (Twitter)

The most anticipated reunion

José Rodríguez, the Europa League preliminary phase, wanted to give a gift in the form of a reunion with José Mourinho: Tottenham and Maccabi Haifa faced each other for a gap in the group stage of the tournament. “From the time we were matched up to the day of the game I was very nervous. Like when you are going to have a date. I didn’t know if he was going to remember me or not, but he did!” The Portuguese not only remembered Rodríguez, but even interrupted his warm-up to greet him. “He’s crazy. He got into the rondo and I had to get out to hug him and chat with him. I don’t know how to explain what Mourinho and I have. It’s very special“Although it may seem strange, in the improvised meeting that José Rodríguez had with his namesake there was no talk of football:” The first thing he asked me is what I was doing with this beard. Then he became interested in my family and He told me to save money so that I could live well after football. That he didn’t spend it all. He cared about me like he was my father. Then he told me they were going to score seven of us. “And the game ended 7-2.

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