Biography

A photo of Hugo Rodallega with his arms folded

Personal Info

Full name:Hugo Rodallega Martínez

Date of birth: 25 July 1985

Place of birth: El Carmelo, Colombia

Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)

Playing position: Striker / Winger

Playing career

Domestic
Years Team Apps Goals
2004-2005 Deportes Quindío 43 (20)
2005 Deportivo Cali 26 (12)
2006-2007 Monterrey 29 (4)
2006 Atlas (loan) (17) (5)
2007-2009 Necaxa 53 (25)
2009-2012 Wigan 112 (24)
2012-Present Fulham FC 0 (0)
 
International
Years Team Caps Goals
2005 Columbia U20 12 (12)
2005-Present Colombia 43 (8)

Personal Life

Rodallega was born in El Carmelo, a village in the west of Colombia located near the city of Cali, and lived in the village with his parents and two elder sisters. Rodallega and his wife Carolina live in North West England with their son, also named Hugo. His cousin Carmen is also a footballer, and has played for the Colombia women's national football team.

Colombian League

Rodallega began his career at local amateur club Boca Juniors de Cali before signing for Deportes Quindío in 2004. He scored his first goal in professional football on 11 April 2004 in a 1–1 draw against Deportivo Cali. He went on to score a total of 13 goals in his first season, earning himself a call-up to the Colombia under-20 squad for the South American Youth Championship. He signed for Deportivo Cali during the middle of the 2005 season, where he won his first honours at club level, helping the team win the 2005-II Copa Mustang.

Mexico

Rodallega had now caught the attention of foreign clubs and signed for Mexican Primera División club Monterrey in 2006. He failed to replicate his previous goal scoring record, finding the net three times before being loaned out to Atlas. He was then transfer listed after scoring just once in 15 games for Monterrey during the Clausura 2007 tournament, and was subsequently signed by Necaxa. His spell at Necaxa was more successful, where he managed to score 16 goals during his first season with the club.

A photo of Hugo Rodallega after scoring

England

On 20 December 2008, Necaxa claimed they had started negotiations to sell Rodallega to English Premier League side Wigan Athletic. On 12 January, Wigan manager Steve Bruce confirmed that Rodallega had been granted a work permit, and on 26 January he finally completed his move to the club for a fee of £4.5 million.

Rodallega made his debut for Wigan as a 77th minute substitute against Liverpool on 28 January 2009 at the DW Stadium. He nearly made an instant impact for his new team, hitting the crossbar with a powerful strike from a 25 yard freekick. After a slow start, he scored his first goal for Wigan against West Brom on 9 May 2009, and went on to score three goals in the last four games of the season, helping the club finish in 11th place. In Wigan's first match of the 2009–10 season, Rodallega got the team's first goal of the season in a 2–0 away win against Aston Villa, with a "spectacular" half-volley from the corner of the penalty area. Rodallega appeared in all 38 league games during the season, and despite Wigan's new manager Roberto Martinez often playing him on the left wing, he also finished as the club's top goalscorer with ten league goals. On 5 February 2011, Rodallega scored his seventh goal of the season in a 4–3 win against Blackburn Rovers, equalling the Wigan's club record of 20 Premier League goals scored by one player, set by Henri Camara. He broke that record on 16 April, scoring the opening goal in a 3–1 win against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, making him Wigan's leading goalscorer of all time in the Premier League. On May 22, 2011 Rodallega scored a game-winning goal that kept Wigan in the Premier League. His 78th-minute header against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium secured a 1–0 win and Wigan's Premier League status for 2011–12.

On 17 December 2011, Rodallega made his 100th league appearance for Wigan, coming onto the pitch as a substitute against Chelsea. Rodallega later announced that he wanted to leave Wigan and despite Everton, Arsenal and PSG interested in him, no deals were made officially in the January transfer Window of 2012.

Rodallega scored 24 goals for the club, making him Wigan Athletic's all-time leading Premier League goalscorer. Having finished the 2011-2012 season for Wigan, and on July 12th 2012, he signed for Fulham FC on a free transfer.

New Fulham signing Hugo Rodallega, today in London

International Career

In 2005, Rodallega was selected in Colombia's squad for the U-20 South American Championship. He made his debut in Colombia's opening game against Bolivia. He came onto the pitch as a half-time substitute, and went on to score four goals in the second half of the match. Colombia finished the tournament as champions as Rodallega became the tournament's all-time top goal scorer with a total of 11 goals in nine games, beating Luciano Galletti's record of nine goals. Rodallega was also selected for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, but failed to live up to expectations and was dropped from the team after the group stages as Colombia lost against Argentina in the second round. Rodallega's senior international debut was in a friendly against Venezuela. He briefly played in goal during Colombia's final tournament game at the 2007 Copa América, when first string goalkeeper Robinson Zapata was given a red card and Colombia had no more available substitutes. He was able to complete the game with Colombia winning 1–0. On 30 April 2008, Rodallega scored two goals, assisted 1 goal and got a penalty awarded for his country in a 5–2 friendly match victory over Venezuela, being hailed by many Colombians as the return of "Rodagol" who scored 11 goals in the Sub 20 WC qualifier tournament in 2005. Though not currently in the Colombian squad, he will surely be recalled when he returns to first-team football with his new club.

A photo of Hugo Rodallega playing for Colombia