What could we expect from Rodrigo? A
fantastic free-kick taker. In the 2001-02 season, he scored from 20
yards to knock out Internacional, and he was in great shape while on
loan at Atletico Mineiro. He has loads of creativity and he
can do wonders playing behind the strikers or in the left
But his start with Everton in their first game of the season, at ome
to Spurs would be overshadowed somewhat by the debut of a certain
young man aged just 16 – Wayne Rooney. But they would not play
together, Rooney having been substituted 10 mins before Rodrigo came
on for the final quarter-hour.
Rodrigo was a bit similar to Harry Kewell,
but his finishing was even better, and he could
also score a decent amount of goals from a long distance. He
helped saved Botafogo from relegation.
And what did we get? Just four sub appearances before he
suffered a serious knee injury in a training accident.
Rodrigo ruptured a cruciate knee ligament during a practice
match at Bellefield in September 2002. He was rushed to hospital and a
scan confirmed the extent of the problem.
It was a bad blow for Everton manager David Moyes, who was
hoping Rodrigo would push for a first-team place.
"We were having a small-sided game and the keeper threw the ball
out to him, which he went to control with his chest. He turned at the
same time and his knee went from under him.
"At the moment, the specialists have told us that these type of
injuries take two or three weeks to settle down before they know if it
"It's difficult to speculate and I'd rather wait until we have the
professional outcome before we put a time limit on it."
Rodrigo had made four substitute appearances since signing on a
year-long loan deal. And Moyes added: "I'm disappointed to lose him,
but for the boy it's a big, big blow.
"He's come over here to impress and was getting much closer to
being involved with the first team in recent weeks.
"We always knew that he was a little bit behind in his fitness when
he first came, but he's been introduced in one or two games and had
little spells and he was just about ready to make a start."
Rodrigo’s knee injury was not properly diagnosed at first, leading
to a series of botched operations that compromised any chance of a
full recovery. He would not play for Everton again.
At the end of the 2002-03 season, David Moyes decided
to return him to Botafogo. Everton’s first foray into the
Brazilian transfer market had been an unmitigated failure.
Over the following years, 'Rodrigol' would go on to have short and
singularly unproductive spells at a slew of clubs in his homeland,
including Corinthians, Juventude, Atlético Paranaens, Vasco da Gama,
Paraná, Boavista and Fortaleza, before ending his playing career
at Red Bull Brasil in 2010.
Adding to the 'Rodrigol' conundrum, he bizarrely became known
as ‘Rodrigo Beckham’ back in Brazil, seemingly because of his
dashing good looks and faint resemblance to the English footballer
turned male model, which took him from the pitch onto the catwalk.
After never achieving anything of note in his subsequent football
career, Rodrigo would briefly manage Boavista and go on to work as a
television commentator, spending much of his time travelling the
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