Wonderkid, mining and exploration: five things you did not know about Vipers' new Brazilian

Rodriguez at the St. Marys Stadium during his unveilin | Photo Credit: Vipers SC image

FOOTBALL Wonderkid, mining and exploration: five things you did not know about Vipers' new Brazilian

Shafic Kiyaga 10:56 - 01.07.2023

The 1.95m (6ft 3in) tall attacker joins from Brazilian outfit União Cacoalense-Ro, where he has traded for the past few months.

Uganda Premier League champions Vipers SC made an intriguing addition to their squad with the signing of experienced forward Giancarlo Lopez Rodriguez.

The Brazilian striker, at 33 years old, becomes the first-ever Brazilian player to don the Vipers SC jersey.

He penned down a two-year employment contract and will thus be actively a Venom at least until 2025.

The 1.95m (6ft 3in) tall attacker joins from Brazilian outfit União Cacoalense-Ro, where he has traded for the past few months.

Let's delve into the lesser-known details about this new signing that will give fans a better understanding of his background and abilities.

Giancarlo Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals for PKNP | Photo Credit: insta@g.carlo99

Place of Birth and Mining Background:

Giancarlo Lopez Rodriguez hails from Iguatemi, a municipality situated in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

The municipality is one of the Midwestern states of Brazil, neighbouring Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná.

This region, often referred to as "South Thick Bush," is one of Brazil’s tourism hotspots and it is also known for its thriving agricultural and cattle-raising industry.

It is also an area abundant in natural resources, particularly in the mining sector. Mato Grosso do Sul is recognized for its significant deposits of rare metals like Manganese and Iron.

It is the same state where former Liverpool player Lucas Leiva is born, though we are not certain their career paths have crossed in anyway.

Giancarlo Rodriguez attempts a shot during training at PSM Makassar in Indonesia | Photo Credit: insta@g.carlo99

A true journey man:

Rodriguez has embarked on a remarkable journeyman career, plying his trade for an astonishing 20 different clubs since he turned 17.

His exploration of football started at Ferrovario in 2013, going on to play for Treze and Vitoria. Notably, he has had multiple spells with Ferrovario, Treze, and Vitoria.

Playing for an average of one club per season, Rodriguez has displayed adaptability and a thirst for exploration.

Incredibly, between 2013 and 2018, Rodriguez played for an astounding 14 club – we have to rethink Hassan Wasswa’s tag after here.

His footballing journey has taken him across continents, with previous experiences in South Africa and Asia, competing in leagues based in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, and his native Brazil.

Giancarlo Rodriguez sets himself up to take a penalty for PNKP FC in Malaysia | Photo Credit: insta@g.carlo99

Versatile with a triple threat:

Goal scoring is his business, and it has taken him to three continents now, but to be fair, he is not the most prolific of strikers to hail from Brazil.

Looking at the scanty playing records about him, he has played 119 matches and scored 40 goals in all competition by March 2020 – Not much can be found after that.

His most notable season came in 2013 while playing for Ferrovario, where he found the back of the net an impressive 19 times in just 26 games.

Although he hasn't surpassed double-digit goal tallies since then. His best tally coming in 2019, when he scored eight goals in 18 games while playing for PNKP in Malaysia.

Looking at his last 13 goals in all competitions, Rodriguez's versatility becomes evident.

He has scored six goals with his right foot, three goals with his left foot, and an additional five goals with his head, so he is a bit of a full package.

Moreover, his goals have won an average of 2.13 points, and has scored the winning goal on four different occasions in his last 16 competitive games.

Giancarlo Rodriguez in action for PKNP FC (noe Perak FC ) in Malayisia | Photo Credit: insta@g.carlo99

Transfer Value and Price Tag:

Incredibly, Giancarlo has been involved in over 20 transfers, but none of those moves have been for a transfer fee including his move to the St. Mary’s Stadium.

While the majority of Rodriguez's transfers did not involve any transfer fees, his current market value stands at an impressive USD 289,228 (approximately UGX 1.06 billion) according to TransferMarkt.

This valuation positions him as one of the most expensive players in the Uganda Premier League, underscoring the high expectations associated with his arrival at Vipers SC.

Milton Karisa (value USD 325,000), Allan Okello (USD 350,000) and Moses Waiswa (USD 300,000) are the players in the local league who hold a bigger transfer value than him.

Giancarlo Rodriguez celebrates a goal while playing for PSM Makassar in Indonesia | Photo Credit: @g.carlo99 via insta

Was almost as good as a former Arsenal defender:

At the beginning of his career, Rodriguez made a significant impact at Ferrovario, where he scored an impressive 19 goals in just 26 games.

During this time, another promising talent, Gabriel Paulista, was also making waves at Vitoria.

When he made the move to Vitoria, the two players were seen as future stars for the club, with their performances capturing attention.

However, their partnership was short-lived playing only four times together before their paths went separate ways.

Rodriguez subsequently moved on to Treze and Sao Caetano in Brazil’s third tier, while Paulista's career took him to Villarreal in Europe in 2014, before eventually joining Arsenal six months later.