Central Rio Ave made no secret of its sympathy for dragons
The center field was always Goga’s favourite, and here he settled, still playing 7’s soccer, at the Benfica Training and Training Center in the Faro region, arriving at just 8 years old. Five years later, Benfica moved to Seixal permanently. “He was part of the golden generation of 1997, from which Rubén Dias, Joao Carvalho, Renato Sanchez or Diogo Gonçalves emerged,” recalls Armando Jorge Carneiro, who was the general coaching director of Benfica.
“He was a very irreverent kid, but a very dynamic one,” describes the former reincarnated principal, in remarks to register, admitting that some injuries that affected him along the way prevented him from obtaining a “final clearance at Benfica”. He even reached the senior level with an eagle on his chest, but due to a complex injury he could not take a step towards the main team. He stayed with the B team and left for Greek football (Panetolikos), to recover from injury and to play regularly at a more demanding level. Basically, to restore confidence in their abilities.
Good athletic performance was not always accompanied by good performance at the school level, which led to the father being called several times to intervene. “We always had to call his father because of that,” recalls Armando Jorge Carneiro, showing himself “happy with the perseverance” shown by Goga Rodriguez, who, despite the mishaps, never gave up to reach the top, which could happen in the next season, If the transfer to Estádio do Dragão is confirmed.
After leaving Benfica, Goga tried his luck in Greek football and returned to Portugal, representing Famalicao. He stayed two seasons in Minho and got closer to his dream (FC Porto). He has been at Rio Ave for three seasons. He made nearly a hundred appearances for Vila-Condense, having scored five goals and giving 10 assists.
Written by Joao Lopez
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