While the soccer and media circus debates about how the last ball did not enter the Superclásico, the man who does not know how to score ugly goals is sitting on the bench at a bus stop in downtown Santa Fe.
Two days before he nailed a free kick in the angle and surpassed his work with a pearl hole. Now he waits with Milo for upa, the youngest, who woke up 6:30 in the morning, anxious to return to face-to-face classes. Immediately, the companion of all his life, Paula, appears on the scene, carrying Bautista, the oldest, who is dragging a backpack on wheels until he stops and shows his palms to receive the alcohol gel spray.
Luis Miguel Rodríguez plays as he lives.
In social networks, his face appears embedded in the body of a Boca player and the graph Television affirms that he is an ideal player to wear the blue and gold jersey.
At 36, El Pulga listens to offers from local soccer and calls from the Mexican market. In June his link with Colón will end and he will seek a new direction: if a serious chance is finished polishing, the forward will take his football to Aztec lands. Although flirting with Boca does not scare him. “Tell Riquelme to call me,” he returns the wall with a smile to a Xeneize fan who asks for it as reinforcement.
Meanwhile, there is another offer that reached the ears of the Flea. As he was able to find out Clarion, an audiovisual producer communicated with the player’s environment. “We want to do a series about his life, a production like Tevez’s”they pointed out. The idea surprised and generated a good reception from the footballer. Will there be a series of the Argentine Luis Miguel?
If the realization takes place there is an essential destination: Simoca.
Located 50 kilometers from San Miguel de Tucumán, in Simoca, which in Quichua means place of peace and silence, it is known as the capital of the sulky. There the flea grew up with his dad, Popcorn, who passed away a year and a half ago, with his mother Bety, the best rice stew cook in the world, and with his 8 siblings. There he hit the ball from morning to night and did not stop even to eat.
“It is a town in which the only job opportunity there is is the municipality of Simoca,” portrays the striker from Colón. Then people search for it with monkeys. There are no large companies, there are no construction companies, there are no. And well, we also have the traditional fair. There is everything there: fruit, imitation clothes … But the traditional thing is the food: suckling pigs, tamales, humita, asado, locro, empanadas ”.
To those streets of Simoca, emissaries from Inter Milan arrived in one of those scenes in which football is close to fiction. A thousand kids appeared in the test that was done in Unión Simoca. The town was paralyzed, entire families arrived from neighboring areas.
Bety didn’t want the Flea to go. There was a bigger problem though: he didn’t have booties.
What happened is easy to imagine: he started looking from the outside, there were people missing for a dive, he played in sneakers, he broke it and an Italian named Nicoletta told him that he had been selected.
Luis Miguel with his partner and two children during a production with Clarín at the end of 2019. Photo: JUAN JOSE GARCIA
The plan that nobody believed in was the following: they had to do a six-month preparation in Monteros, about 17 kilometers from Simoca, and then travel to Italy. One detail: you had to do a lot of softening work for mom Bety to sign the authorization. For now, Papa Pochoclo had been in charge of buying a pair of booties at the fair, some shin pads and some stockings. “I’ll buy them for her, then we’ll see how we manage to eat,” was the shortcut from Pochoclo to Bety that El Pulga remembers.
With 13 years old and a brand new passport, Luis Miguel Rodríguez got on a plane with 5 other boys from Tucumán and 12 hours later he landed in Italy. He was carrying a bag with two T-shirts and two jeans. He spent the first 15 days without giving any sign of life to his family. Until they arrived at a pension where they were lent the phone for 5 minutes. “The nights were horrible,” he recalled, “we didn’t get there anymore, it was hard. We were like this for three months, we didn’t realize it, but when we were 13 years old we trained with the Reserve squad ”.
El Pulga, at his home on the outskirts of Santa Fe with his two sons, Bautista and Milo. Photo: JUAN JOSE GARCIA
The film speeds up between Simoca and Europe. Because they were moving Luis like a puppet. He came to share training with Recoba, Seedorf, Iván Córdoba, Cañizares … Javier Zanetti received them at his home. In that seesaw, he appeared in the Canary Islands to play a youth tournament in which Barcelona and Real Madrid participated.
But the story changed the ending. It is also not difficult to imagine that whoever represented him at the time did a business in which the Flea was only a discarded labor force.
From the dream of playing for Real Madrid to working as a bricklayer’s assistant to give Pochoclo a hand.
At 17, the age at which many idols already play in First Division, the Flea was adrift. He already knew what it was like to have been scammed by a representative. He had already been excited several times to succeed in football but he could not find the way around. He only managed to get a card and become a vice in the Tucumana League in exchange for 70 pesos. “One day I scored 12 goals in a game and that’s when they realized it. They made me a note and it was clear that it was not the one with the card ”, he reviews.
Pulga’s second sporting life began again at UTA, in San Miguel de Tucumán. He charged 500 pesos Of which he allocated 100 to his pocket, 100 to that of Bety, his mother, and 300 for Paula, his girlfriend, who was in charge of buying him clothes.
At 6 months in UTA, when everything was going well, he suffered a car accident. He was in a trout remis that crashed and opened its head. There he thought about leaving football.
But it came back. His great performance at UTA made the two greats of Tucumán come looking for him. San Martín was the first option but he gave up, “they said he was too small to play.” And the Indian Jorge Solari took him to Atlético. Thus love was born. And the best known chapters of his life.
Among them, there is one that stands out: when Diego Maradona called him to play for the National Team.
“I was in Simoca, at the festivities,” says Luis Miguel. And his eyes light up: “When we were returning to San Miguel in the car with Paula, messages began to arrive. One read: “Congratulations, friend, you were summoned to the National Team.” No ball, what do I know, it must be a joke. I was driving and “tun-tun” the phone kept ringing, it wouldn’t stop … Until, well, I brake to the side and start looking. And my brother just calls and tells me it’s true. I was shaking, I swear, I swear. Everything started to shake me. We hugged Paula on the side of the road with the beacons on ”.
The goals in Atlético Tucumán appear in the rearview mirror. The classification to the international cups with the Dean. And also the successful challenge of bringing its quality to Colón, with whom he was left on the shore of the consecration of the South American Cup and now he dares to dream of being able to embroider the first star in the history of Sabalera in the Professional League.
There are also close goals for the player of the people on the horizon: starting in June, he will wear a new shirt and could even be the protagonist of his own history on the big screen.
#Pulga #Rodríguez #validity #player #jump #Boca