Rodrigo Moreno Machado (born 6 March 1991), known simply as Rodrigo, is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Valencia CF as a winger or striker.
He started his career with Real Madrid, appearing solely for its reserve teams. In 2010 he signed with Benfica with whom he won four titles, most notably the domestic treble in the 2013–14 season.
Born in Brazil, Rodrigo represented Spain at youth level, and in 2013 he won the European Championship with the under-21 team. The following year, he earned his first cap for the senior side.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Rodrigo moved to Spain in his early teens, settling in Galicia and started playing organized football with Celta de Vigo. In 2009, aged 18, he moved to Real Madrid to complete his development.
Only a few weeks after arriving, Rodrigo started playing as a senior with the C-team. Shortly after, he was promoted to Real Madrid Castilla in Segunda División B, making his debut with the latter on 29 November 2009 in a 4–3 away win against UD Lanzarote (29 minutes played).
On 31 July 2010, Rodrigo signed a five-year contract with S.L. Benfica for a reported fee of €6 million. Real Madrid had an option to re-buy the player for €12 million during the next two seasons; however, after Fábio Coentrão's transfer to the Spanish club, the teams agreed to cancel the buyback clause.
The following month, Rodrigo joined Bolton Wanderers of the Premier League on a season-long loan. He made his official debut in a League Cup game at Burnley on 21 September, starting in a 0–1 away loss.
Rodrigo first appeared in the league for the Trotters on 23 October 2010, at Wigan Athletic, coming on as a substitute for Lee Chung-Yong midway through the second half of a 1–1 draw. On 5 January 2011, against the same opponent, he scored his only goal of the campaign, with the game ending with the same result.
Returning to Benfica for 2011–12, Rodrigo played in 38 official matches in his first year and scored 16 goals, including the opener in the season's Taça da Liga final against Gil Vicente FC, which his team won for the fourth year in a row (2–1). On 2 January 2013 he combined with Óscar Cardozo for five goals in a 6–0 home routing of C.D. Aves for the Taça de Portugal.
On 31 January 2014, Benfica (and Benfica Stars Fund) sold 100% of Rodrigo's economic rights to a private company, Meriton Capital Limited, owned by Peter Lim, for €30 million, plus another potential €10 million on performance-related bonuses. He remained with Benfica until the end of the campaign. On 10 April he scored both of his team's goals in a 2–0 home win against AZ Alkmaar for the quarterfinals of the UEFA Europa League, which powered the hosts to the last-four stage 3–0 on aggregate.
Rodrigo scored Benfica's first goal in a 2–0 final win over Rio Ave F.C. in the league cup, and was subsequently voted Man of the match as his team won the competition for the fifth time in seven years. On 14 May he had his penalty shootout attempt saved by Sevilla FC's Beto, in an eventual Europa League final loss; in total, he contributed with 18 goals in 43 games all competitions comprised to win an unprecedented treble of Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal and Taça da Liga.
On 23 July 2014, Rodrigo moved back to Spain, after agreeing to a one-season loan deal with Valencia CF. Although his economic rights were owned by Lim, a loan was arranged to take him and André Gomes to Valencia due to Lim's purchase of the latter club.
Rodrigo made his debut for the Che on 23 August 2014, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in a 1–1 away draw against Sevilla. He scored his first La Liga goal on 22 September, netting the last of a 3–0 away success against Getafe CF through a penalty, but was later sent off; he was dismissed the following 30 May for striking Rayo Vallecano's Toño, and banned for three games by the Royal Spanish Football Federation.
On 15 June 2015, Benfica and Valencia announced they had reached an agreement on Rodrigo's federative rights, and he signed a four-year contract with the latter until 30 June 2019, for a reported fee of €30 million.
Rodrigo competed for Spain internationally, starting with the under-19s which he helped to the second position in the 2010 UEFA European Championship by netting two goals, including one in the final against France. He then competed in the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup, helping the national team to the quarter-finals with his three goals.
Rodrigo made his debut for the Spanish under-21 side on 1 September 2011, scoring a hat-trick in Georgia for the 2013 European Championship qualifiers (7–2 win). On 21 March 2013, in a friendly against Norway, he netted his 13th goal in the category to help to the 5–2 triumph in Toledo, thus becoming the highest goal scorer after surpassing Óscar García's record which had stood since 1992.
Rodrigo was included in Spain's squad at the 2012 Summer Olympics, appearing in two games in an eventual group stage exit in London. On 3 October 2014, he was one of 23 players selected by Vicente del Bosque for UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying matches against Slovakia and Luxembourg, making his debut in the latter game by replacing Diego Costa in the 82nd minute and assisting the fourth and last goal for Juan Bernat.
Thiago Alcântara and Rafinha, who were raised in footballing terms at FC Barcelona and also represent Spain and Brazil respectively, are Rodrigo's cousins.
- As of match played 30 May 2016
|Real Madrid B||2009–10||18||5||—||—||—||18||5|
- As of match played 12 October 2014
- Primeira Liga: 2013–14
- Taça de Portugal: 2013–14
- Taça da Liga: 2011–12, 2013–14
- UEFA Europa League: Runner-up 2012–13, 2013–14
- Spain U21
- UEFA European Under-21 Championship: 2013
- Spain U19
- UEFA European Under-19 Championship: Runner-up 2010
- 2014 Taça da Liga Final: Man of the match
- UEFA Europa League: Squad of the Season 2013–14
- "Ivanović heads Chelsea to Europa League glory". UEFA.com. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Chris Myson (19 June 2013). "Euro Under-21 Team of the Tournament: Thiago & Isco star as Spain dominate". Goal.com. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Rodrigues, Luís (7 May 2014). "Rodrigo eleito melhor em campo" [Rodrigo elected man of the match] (in Portuguese). Zerozero. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- "UEFA Europa League squad of the season". UEFA.com. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.