Guido Rodríguez was already a regular for Argentina’s national team when Real Betis invested a reported €4m to recruit him from Mexico’s Club América in January 2020, months before his contract was due to expire. Agreeing a four-and-a-half year contract with the then-25-year-old, they also secured him for what are expected to be his finest years.
In a new-look team showing promise under Manuel Pellegrini, as he does for Argentina, Rodríguez is relied on to provide the stability their many attacking talents require, and he has continued to impress while doing so. If he was one of the most consistent and influential players in Liga MX, his manager at América, Miguel Herrera, months later recognises the extent to which they continue to miss him. “You don’t have to look long to know that we still haven’t found a substitute for what he did and what he gave us,” Herrera said. “It has cost us the balance that Guido gave us, but Guido is no longer here. We cannot be thinking about what he was giving us. We have to think about what our players are giving us now.”