Wonderkid, mining and exploration: five things you didn’t know about Vipers’ new Brazilian

The 1.95 m tall attacker comes over from the Brazilian União Cacoalense-Ro, where he traded in recent months.

Ugandan Premier League champions Vipers SC made an intriguing addition to their squad with the signing of veteran striker Giancarlo Lopez Rodriguez.

The Brazilian striker, aged 33, becomes the first ever Brazilian player to wear the Vipers SC jersey.

He signed an employment contract for two years and will therefore be active at Venom until at least 2025.

The 1.95 m tall attacker comes over from the Brazilian União Cacoalense-Ro, where he traded in recent months.

Let’s dig deeper into the lesser-known details about this new addition 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 is from Iguatemi, a municipality in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

The municipality is one of the states in the Midwest of Brazil, bordering Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná.

Often referred to as “South Thick Bush”, this region is one of Brazil’s tourist hot spots and is also known for its thriving agriculture and ranching industry.

It is also an area rich in natural resources, particularly in the mining sector. Mato Grosso do Sul is known for its significant deposits of rare metals such as manganese and iron.

It’s the same state where former Liverpool player Lucas Leiva was born, although we’re not sure if their career paths crossed.

Giancarlo Rodriguez tries to shoot during training at PSM Makassar in Indonesia | Photo credit: insta@g.carlo99

A real travel person:

Rodriguez has embarked on a remarkable career as a journeyman, having plied his craft for as many as 20 different clubs since he was 17.

His exploration of football started in 2013 with Ferrovario and went 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 shown adaptability and a thirst for exploration.

Incredibly, between 2013 and 2018, Rodriguez played for a whopping 14 clubs – we have to rethink Hassan Wasswa’s tag here.

His football journey has taken him across continents, with previous experiences in South Africa and Asia, taking part in competitions in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and his native Brazil.

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

Versatile with a triple threat:

Scoring goals is his business, and it’s taken him to three continents now, but to be honest, he’s not the most prolific striker to come out of Brazil.

Looking at the scant playing records about him, by March 2020 he has played 119 games and scored 40 goals in all competitions – not much can be found after that.

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

Although he hasn’t surpassed double-digit goals since then. His best result came 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 apparent.

He’s scored six goals with his right foot, three goals with his left foot and another five goals with his head, so he’s a bit of a complete package.

In addition, his goals have averaged 2.13 points and he has scored the winning goal four times in his last 16 competitive games.

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

Transfer value and price tag:

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

While most of Rodriguez’s transfers have not involved transfer fees, his current market value is an impressive $289,228 (about UGX 1.06 billion) according to TransferMarkt.

This rating positions him as one of the most expensive players in the Ugandan Premier League, underlining the high expectations that come with his arrival at Vipers SC.

Milton Karisa ($325,000), Allan Okello ($350,000) and Moses Waiswa ($300,000) are the players in the local league who have 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 start of his career, Rodriguez made a big impression at Ferrovario, scoring 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, and their performances attracted attention.

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

Rodriguez then 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 finally joining Arsenal six months later.

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