In a summer of transitions, veteran Juan Pablo Rodriguez decided to put an end to his veteran career. Part of the vibrant Atlas team of the 90’s, Rodriguez was one of the top prospects of Mexican football at that time but he could never transition and make the impact expected of him with the National team. That said, he had a very solid Liga MX career, where he currently has the most number of penalties ever scored. Rodriguez, a Guadalajara native, went through all the teams of the city of Guadalajara (Atlas, UAG Tecos and Chivas) but aside from Atlas, his career highlight was in Santos. With the Torreon team, Rodriguez won two league titles, where he was instrumental. Rodriguez last played in Morelia where he retired this summer.
Rodriguez came to prominence with an Atlas team managed by Ricardo Lavolpe. With that team, he went on to a second place finish in the 1999 Clausura, after a thrilling final against Toluca. It would be followed by a Quarterfinal appearance in the 2000 Libertadores. In between, he was part of the U-20 Mexican team that finished in the Quarterfinals of the 1999 U-20 World Cup. That Atlas team was one of the most pleasantly offensive teams. Besides Rodriguez, it had Rafael Marquez, Daniel Osorno and Miguel Zepeda, along with veterans like Hugo Castillo and Jorge Almiron. For the U-20 team, Marquez, Osorno and Rodriguez were all part of the team that eliminated current U-20 champion Argentina to get to the Quarterfinal game. Even when Marquez left for Monaco, the Atlas team kept being one of the top teams in the league.
Unfortunately for Rodriguez, one of his only blemishes was being part of a very hyped U-23 team that lost out in the Semifinals of an Olympics Qualifying Tournament. Although they drew with Honduras, they lost out on penalties and Rodriguez was the one who missed his penalty kick in the shootout. After the tournament, he got a lot of opportunities with the National team, but unlike Zepeda and Osorno, he failed to recreate his Liga MX play. After failing to get a WC spot for the 2002 World Cup, he got a lot of opportunities during Ricardo Lavolpe’s time with the National team. During this time, he got his only title with the NT, the 2003 Gold Cup where he scored his only goal against Jamaica. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the team for the 2006 World Cup and never played a World Cup.
After a time in all of Guadalajara teams, he went to Torreon and jointed Santos. He played there for 7 years and won the league titles in 2008 and 2012. After that, he left for Atlas and finally Morelia where he finished his career this year after the Quarterfinal defeat in the Liguilla. While he never was able to meet the high expectations, he was a consistent Liga MX player who was more than reliable and will be a loss to Morelia.