“I’ve never done anything but play football”insured patrick rodriguez. Better known as ‘Duckling’, the current Bolívar player has known how to be one of the great jewels of Argentine football. Today, at 32 and with a long career under her belt, she recalls what her beginnings were like and reflects on the pressures and confusion she faced from an early age.
His first steps were in 2008 and caught the attention of all of Argentine football. Américo Gallego has been tasked with making the duckling make his first division debut with Independiente. “I go to the bank and 15 minutes from the end they sent me to warm up. Then she calls me and says ‘you are entering’. The field was exploited, it was an Independiente against River”he explained in an interview with ‘The official sports team’ channel, on You Tube, a few months ago, which has gone viral in the last few hours.
However, the breakup and his rise to fame came after a match against Boca in a summer tournament. “With Boca it’s the game that makes me go up in the clouds in the media. Olé covers three times in a row was me, known on all channels and a contract with Nike at the time. I had a pair of boots of an inferior level and suddenly I had 6 pairs of boots, a bag of clothes and I didn’t understand a thing”.
At the moment, He was a young man of only 18 and fame came to him quickly and suddenly. In addition to that, he found himself under pressure to be labeled as the successor to Sergio Aguerowho had been transferred to Atlético de Madrid after distinguishing himself and making a big difference in his years in the red shirt.
“Kun Agüero was there, the greatest idol and is leaving us. A replacement had to be found and I had already shown that perhaps I could be at his level. I don’t know if maybe, I don’t know if not, I don’t know if the boy is ready, I don’t know the boy’s history, I have no idea if he went 6 years without playing in the lower divisions and overnight they put him in first division gear and hit a shoe that scored a goal with Boca. This is the new Kun Agüero and the boy with 17 years and without finishing school solves it “reflects the former Estudiantes de La Plata player.
Based on his personal experience and the countless cases that have occurred, he left an analysis on how to work with young people. “The problem is not preparing the boys, or in this case that Patricio Rodríguez”. And I add: “No middle-class family is willing to have a child manage that amount of money or take on that responsibility. There comes a time when you want to send everything to hell”framework.
After joining Independiente, he was transferred to Santos in Brazil, where he was a teammate of Neymar. In the Brazilian team he has alternated moments of greater recovery and others of inactivity. At that point in his career he experienced one of his worst personal moments which led him to be completely demotivated. “The most difficult moment was when I started not playing at Santos. He didn’t do anything to play either. The lack of interest was the hardest moment”he acknowledged.
Finally, and gracefully, he recalled an anecdote of what he did with the first money he received for being a professional player. “I earned 100 pesos a month and with the first 100 I said to my mother ‘Mom, they pay me 100 pesos on the 20th. Let’s go to Alto Avellaneda because I want to buy a Nike cap’. When I arrive I see that it was very expensive and cost 70 pesos. So I said to my mum ‘Well mum I want a cap but I want to buy all 3: the blue one, the red one and the white one’. I asked him to swipe the card and was in debt for three months. My mother bought them for me and for the next three months I gave her money.” remembered.
The Duckling’s words and testimonies should serve to raise awareness that the boys must arrive prepared not only sportingly, but also psychologically for everything that can await them when they play in the First Division. His experience marks the changes that can occur from one day to the next and confuse or destabilize a young person taking his first steps.