Hugo Rodallega, who returned to Colombian professional soccer in 2023 at the age of 38, is a trend on social networks, this time not because of his performance on the field with Independiente Santa Fe de Bogotá, the club that welcomed him on his return, but rather for his spicy statements about why he never wore the Colombian National Team shirt which, during the best moment of his career, was under the direction of José Néstor Pekerman.
The talented Colombian striker has had an outstanding career playing for different teams in England, Mexico, Turkey and Brazil. And it is that The last time he wore the tricolor shirt was with Hernán Darío ‘El Bolillo’ Gómezwho trusted the player formed in Quindío and whom he put as a starter in three commitments.
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However, despite its good performance in Europe, Pekerman opted for other players such as Radamel Falcao García, Jackson Martínez, Adrián Ramos, Teófilo Gutiérrez, Carlos Bacca, among others, for the forward of the tricolor. Rodallega, was erased from the map and was never selected again.
Although Pekerman obtained good results, this year Hugo Rodallega broke the silence and told the real reason why he was not part of the Colombian National Team again. Although many think it was due to style of play or technical decision, Rodallega assures that Pekerman was angry with him.
“I knew that as much as I was playing in England, or as much as I was in any country or any team, It was going to be difficult for me to make it to the National Team“, said Rodallega in statements collected on the air on Caracol Radio.
According to Rodallega, the clashes with Pekerman began in 2005: “I don’t know if he was an assistant or something in the technical direction and there were always clashes. When we played against Argentina there were many discussions. It’s not that I did anything to offend him, but It always bothered him that I was the protagonist of that South American. There was a lot of anger on their part towards me and it was something that motivated that,” added the footballer.
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“I remember that I had the opportunity to greet Professor Pékerman and he said to me: ‘Hugo, how are you? We are analyzing you there. However, I replied: ‘teacher, it’s a pleasure to meet you, I wish you success in this game and in what remains of you with the National Team, but there is no need for you to tell me those words because I already have it clear “Rodallega told the Argentine coach at the time.
It is worth mentioning that Hugo Rodallega had outstanding performances in great teams such as Monterrey, Wigan, Fulham, Akhisar Belediye, Trabzonspor, Denizlispor and Bahia.
The day Hugo Rodallega almost arrived at Real Madrid
Real Madrid is considered by many to be the best team in the world due to its history, its sporting achievements and its great trophy case. For this reason, it is a source of pride for any footballer who is interested in their services. This was the case of Hugo Rodallega, who due to his outstanding performances was close to being signed by the Merengue team.
After the 2015 South American, Rodallega was close to signing with Real Madrid Castilla, a team from the second division of Spain and where the homegrown players of the true King of Cups play. “We played the games and I didn’t know exactly who was watching me… When I found out, at that time, Mr. Hernando Ángel told me that there was a Real Madrid observer They were very interested in being able to count on me to go to Castilla. It made me very excited, because who is not going to be excited about that. It is something that any player would long for, at least to be taken into account by Real Madrid”, said the footballer in an interview.
However, they did not reach an agreement on the numbers and Rodallega went to Mexican territory to play with Atlas: “Later on my agent told me that the business could not be done, I don’t know why, they never explained it to me, but they I imagine that they were economic terms, it is the only conclusion that I could draw. So it was an unfortunate move, but no regrets for my career. I feel proud and grateful to God”, the footballer pointed out.