'Mourinho promised to make me the most famous gypsy alive'

Comments()
Getty
The then Real Madrid boss had high hopes for midfielder Jose Rodriguez, and made him the youngest player to play for the club in the Champions League

Jose Rodriguez says Jose Mourinho told him that he was going to be "the most famous gypsy in the world" ahead of his Real Madrid debut.

Rodriguez made just four appearances for Real's senior side, playing one minute in La Liga.

Nevertheless, the 23-year-old, who has since played for the likes of Deportivo La Coruna, Galatasaray, Mainz and Maccabi Tel Aviv, says Mourinho had high hopes for him, and a unique way of expressing as much!

"When something like that happens at that age, you don't enjoy it because you don't even really know who you are yourself," he told AS .

"Mou told me: 'I'm going to make you the most famous gypsy in the world' and I couldn't stop laughing. I cannot explain with words how I used to feel when the best coach in the world started talking to me or gave me advice."

Indeed, Rodriguez became the youngest player ever to play for Real in the Champions League in 2012, surpassing the record held by legendary striker Raul.

The midfielder came on as a substitute against Ajax in 2012 at the age of 17 years and 353 days.

"Six years have passed and I'm still remembered for that everywhere I go, it's incredible," he added.

Rodriguez is still under contract with Mainz, but is spending the 2018-19 season on loan at Fortuna Sittard, and he maintains that he has matured since his time at Santiago Bernabeu.

"When you are a kid you do stupid things. I'd do things just to annoy a coach so he wouldn't play me, but later you realise that all you are doing is harming yourself," he said.

"You get to understand how important it is to be playing, because when you don't play, you stop caring, and even if you are getting paid a good wage and have all the money in the world, you're not happy. Now I know that I have to work hard every day because you need to seize opportunities whenever you get them."

Close