International Players

From working as a builder, to being a champion and dreaming of playing the Olympic Games

By Mauricio Saenz

From working as a builder, to being a champion and dreaming of playing the Olympic Games

The player's one of the most charismatic and beloved of his country. Will his wish be fulfilled?

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Between so much ostentation of the material, overexposure to the spotlights and the controversies for a fame that comes beforehand, football has been moving away from the common public. The difference between a footballer and a fan is greater than ever and although we strive to maintain our romanticism to football, we feel less identified with the players.

However, the stories that we should frame within normality now seem strange to us, despite the fact that they are the essence of football. It is the story of Luis Miguel El Pulga Rodríguez, who worked as a builder to help the family and played barefoot in his beloved Simoca while dreaming of a better future, always next to the ball and out of the media noise.

Now, after winning the Professional League Cup with Colón, the forward dreams of playing the Tokyo Olympics. Of course, for that to happen, coach Fernando Batista will have to cite him as one of the three players older than the appointment that will be played next month.

'El Pulga' Rodríguez knew that football was his salvation. In Simoca, Tucumán, he learned that lesson early on when his feet began to show that he could get out of misery, out of mud. David Mata, an anthropologist and soccer documentary maker, defines well what the player feels that the ball can be a social elevator: "running for hunger and then for glory".

His past as a builder

Brick by brick. This is how he forged the personality and the game of the Tucuman: "It's a normal job. You have to get up at 7:30 to beat the heat a little. Although you are not wearing pretty shorts, you are wearing work clothes and it is a job. worthy, that serves and helped me to value the things that I have ".

Despite his financial situation, his father gave her his first pair of boots when 'Pulguita' was ten years old. The Argentine player handles his ego just as well as he handles the ball: "When he suffers in childhood, what is achieved later is valued and cared for twice as much," he declared in a report to 'El Gráfico'.

The Argentine is as natural as his game. A game that escapes from tactics, schemes and fixed positions, he is the one who changes the play with a hook, another dribble and another Vaseline, personal brand. All his professional activity has been carried out in Argentina, but his story begins and almost ends with the greed of a bad company, his representative.

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