Rodrigo Palacio

Rodrigo Sebastián Palacio Alcalde (Spanish pronunciation: [roˈðɾiɣo paˈlasjo]; born 5 February 1982) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Italian club Brescia. He is the son of José Ramón Palacio, a historic player of Club Olimpo during the 1980s.[3] Palacio holds a Spanish passport, allowing him to be counted as an EU player.[4]

Rodrigo Palacio
Trenza Palacio (cropped).jpg
Palacio in 2017
Personal information
Full name Rodrigo Sebastián Palacio Alcalde[1]
Date of birth (1982-02-05) 5 February 1982 (age 39)
Place of birth Bahía Blanca, Argentina
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[2]
Position(s) Forward
Club information
Current team
Brescia
Number 8
Youth career
1990–2002 Bella Vista
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2004 Huracán de Tres Arroyos 53 (15)
2004–2005 Banfield 36 (9)
2005–2009 Boca Juniors 131 (54)
2009–2012 Genoa 90 (35)
2012–2017 Internazionale 140 (39)
2017–2021 Bologna 127 (19)
2021– Brescia 5 (1)
National team
2005–2014 Argentina 27 (3)
Honours
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:23, 20 September 2021 (UTC)

At international level, Palacio has represented the Argentina national team at two FIFA World Cups and a Copa América, winning runner-up medals at the 2014 World Cup and the 2007 Copa América.

Beyond his qualities as a footballer, Palacio is also known for his rattail braid hairstyle.[5][6]

Club careerEdit

Early CareerEdit

At age 12, he joined Bella Vista de Bahía Blanca's youth academy, and made his first team debut aged 17 in 2002, in a Torneo Argentino B (fourth division) match.[7][8]

Palacio began his professional career as a 20 year old in 2002, when he signed for Huracán de Tres Arroyos of the Primera B Nacional (second division).

He made his debut on 25 August 2002, in a 2–0 victory against Juventud Antoniana.[9] Palacio played two years for the club, and left in 2004.

BanfieldEdit

In 2004, Primera División club Banfield signed Palacio.[10] He spent two seasons at the club, scoring 11 goals in 38 appearances.

In August 2004, he played his first match in a continental competition and scored in a 1–1 draw against Arsenal de Sarandí as part of the 2004 Copa Sudamericana.[11] He scored in the second leg as well, but Banfield lost the match 4–3 and were eliminated.

Boca JuniorsEdit

In January 2005, Palacio completed a transfer to Boca Juniors shortly before the 2005 Clausura began.[12] He scored his first goal for the club on 18 January, in a 2–0 victory against Independiente.[13]

In the 2005 Copa Sudamericana, Palacio scored a hat trick in the quarter finals against Sport Club Internacional on 10 November 2005, which ended in a 4–1 for CABJ.[14] He also scored the opening goal in the first leg of the finals against Pumas UNAM, contributing greatly to Boca's championship, which was eventually won on penalties.[15] Palacio was the third top scorer with 5 goals, behind Bruno Marioni and Jorge Quinteros.[16]

In the 2006 Recopa Sudamericana, Palacio scored two goals in the first leg and one in the second leg to help Boca beat São Paulo and win their third Recopa.

On 26 April 2007, Palacio scored two goals in a 7–0 demolishing of Club Bolívar in the 2007 Copa Libertadores.[17] On 24 May, he scored the last goal in a 2–0 win over Club Libertad in the quarter-finals.[18] Palacio also scored the opening goal of the finals 1st leg against Grêmio, which ended in a 5–0 aggregate win for Boca (2–0 and 3–0).

On 16 December, he would score an equalizer to make the score 1–1 against Milan, although the Italian side eventually won the Club World Cup final 4–2.[19][20][21] Palacio earned the Bronze Ball trophy in the tournament, being ranked as the third best player behind Milan players Clarence Seedorf and Kaká respectively. Palacio's performance in the 2008 Copa Libertadores helped Boca avoid elimination from the group stage by scoring twice against Mexico's Atlas in a 3–0 home victory and scoring the third goal in Boca's dramatic 4–3 win against Chile's Colo-Colo. On 7 May 2008, Palacio scored the first goal in a 2–1 second-leg win against Brazilian club Cruzeiro.[22] Boca eventually reached the semi-finals, where they would lose to Fluminense 4–1 on aggregate.

Despite a minor injury that would see him sidelined for a small portion of the second half of the year, Palacio would then go on to win the Recopa Sudamericana against Arsenal de Sarandí, scoring one goal in the first leg and another goal in the second leg. He later won the 2008–09 Torneo Apertura after the title had to be fought out between the top three teams that were equal on points, Boca, San Lorenzo and Tigre.[23] The championship play-offs were all held at Racing Club's stadium in a round-robin format and were held in December 2008. Palacio would score in a 3–1 win against San Lorenzo to help claim the title.[24]

GenoaEdit

In July 2009, Palacio signed a contract with Italian club Genoa.[25] His debut in Serie A was on 23 August, in a 3–2 win over Roma.[26] On 5 November, he scored his first goal for the club in the UEFA Europa League match against Lille, which ended in a 3–2 victory for Genoa.[27][28] In Serie A, the striker scored his first goal against Parma,[29] the team in which he also scored a double against in the return leg, a 3–2 away win.[30][31] 2 years after his debut, Palacio also entered in Coppa Italia statistics with a brace in a 4–3 win against AG Nocerina.[32] In the last two weeks of January 2012, Palacio scored two braces: one in a 5–3 loss against Palermo,[33] and the other in a 3–2 win against Napoli.[34] On his last appearance for Genoa, the hundredth overall, he received a red card against Udinese.[35][36]

InternazionaleEdit

On 22 May 2012, Genoa president Enrico Preziosi confirmed that Palacio would join Inter for the 2012–13 season.[37] On 7 June, he was officially sold to Inter for €10.5 million, signing a three-year contract paying the player €2.7 million per year.[38]

2012–13 seasonEdit

 
Palacio celebrating with Ezequiel Schelotto.

Palacio debuted in a UEFA Europa League qualification match against Croatian side Hajduk Split.[39] He scored his first Inter double in a friendly against Bizertin of Tunisia on 18 August. He then scored his first official goal for Inter on 23 August in the play-off round of Europa League qualifiers against Romania's Vaslui.[40] He scored again in the return leg in Milan on 30 August, making the final score 1–1 as Inter progressed to the competition's group stage.[41]

He scored his first goal in Serie A for Inter on 21 October in a 2–0 victory at the San Siro against Catania.[42] On 4 November, he scored the final goal in a 1–3 win against defending league champions Juventus, which ended the Bianconeri's 49 game-winning streak.[43] On 8 November, he scored a brace in a Europa League match against Partizan (1–3) that took Inter into the competition's round of 32 with two group stage matches to spare.[44] During a second round match in the Coppa Italia against Hellas Verona on 18 December, after an injury to goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi and after all three of the club's substitutions were exhausted, Palacio, wearing Vid Belec's jersey number 27, was put into goal for the final 15 minutes of the match.[45] He did not concede any goals in a 2–0 win and even made a fine save in the 91st minute, stopping a diving header from Verona midfielder Alessandro Carrozza.[46]

On 14 February 2013, in a match against Romanian side CFR Cluj in the first leg of the Europa League Round of 16, Palacio was substituted in seven minutes into the game after a season-ending injury to starter Diego Milito.[47] Palacio came on and finished the game with both goals scored in a 2–0 victory.[48] On 3 March, against Catania, Palacio was substituted in at the beginning of the second half at a time when the Nerazzurri were down 2–0.[49] Palacio went on to provide an assist for Ricky Álvarez's goal, then scored twice himself, leading Inter to a 2–3 comeback victory.[50] On 3 April, Palacio scored his second double of the league season against Sampdoria, raising his tally to 12 goals scored; in the same game, however, he strained his left hamstring, ultimately ending his season prematurely.[51][52]

2013–14 seasonEdit

In the first fixture of the season, Palacio scored a brace against Cittadella in the third round of the Coppa Italia.[53]

 
Palacio with Ignazio Abate in the Milan derby

He also scored in the first league game of the season, against Genoa on 25 August; his goal came in injury time, giving Inter a 2–0 win,[54] which was followed by another goal and an assist in a 3–0 win against Catania.[55] On 20 October, Palacio scored twice to give Inter a 3–3 draw against Torino at the Stadio Olimpico,[56] and six days later scored in a 4–2 triumph against recently promoted Hellas Verona at San Siro.[57] On 3 November, Palacio continued his fine form, scoring a header and assisting in a 0–3 away win against Udinese at the Stadio Friuli.[58] On 22 December, he scored a superb goal in the 86th minute with the back of his heel after an assist from Fredy Guarín, which proved to be decisive with Inter winning 1–0 against Milan.[59][60] That was his first competitive goal in the Derby della Madonnina.

On 15 February 2014, Palacio scored his first goal of 2014 after some negative displays during the 2–1 away win against Fiorentina.[61] On 9 March, he scored the winning goal against Torino at the San Siro, giving Nerazzurri three important points.[62] Five days later, Palacio signed a new two-and-a-half year contract with Inter which will keep him at the club until 2016.[63][64] One day after he extended his contract, Palacio scored the opening goal and assisted Jonathan Moreira's goal in the 2–0 away win against Hellas Verona.[65] Palacio continued with his good appearances by scoring his 15th league goal in the 4–0 thrashing of Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.[66] He also assisted both goals from Mauro Icardi.[67]

On 10 May, in Javier Zanetti's last competitive match at the San Siro in which Inter defeated Lazio 4–1 to secure a place in Europa League play-off for next season, Palacio scored a brace and in both occasions went to celebrate with Zanetti.[68] He was first assisted by Mateo Kovačić and later by Yuto Nagatomo. Palacio ended the 2013–14 season with 39 appearances (37 in Serie A) and 19 goals (17 in Serie A), finishing as Inter's top goalscorer.

2014–15 seasonEdit

Palacio missed all of the pre-season phase due to his international duties with Argentina at the 2014 World Cup. He was not called upon for the first official match of the season against Icelandic side Stjarnan in the first leg of the play-off round for the Europa League, after Inter head coach Walter Mazzarri decided to let him rest.[69] He also did not play in the returning leg as Inter comfortably secured qualification for the group stage with an aggregate 9–0 score. After missing the opening match of the Serie A season, Palacio made his first appearance of the season on 14 September, playing the last 14 minutes of the 7–0 thrashing of Sassuolo.[70][71]

On 19 February 2015, Palacio scored two goals in a 3–3 draw vs Celtic, which helped Inter qualify for the round of 16 of the Europa League.[72] In the round of 16 against Wolfsburg, he scored both goals in Inter's 5–2 aggregate loss (3–1 and 2–1).[73][74] He opened the scoring in the final game of the season, a 4–3 win against Empoli.[75] Palacio finished behind Mauro Icardi for top scorer with 12 goals, scoring 8 in the league and 4 in the Europa League.

2015–16 seasonEdit

Palacio scored his first goal of the season on 15 December 2015 in a 3–0 win over Cagliari at the San Siro, moving Inter on from the Coppa Italia's round of 16.[76] On 8 January 2016, he extended his contract with Inter for a further season, keeping him at the club until June 2017.[77][78] He didn't score his first Serie A goal for the season until 24 January 2016, opening the scoring in a 1–1 draw against Carpi.[79] On 2 March, in a Coppa Italia match against Juventus, Palacio missed a penalty, which contributed to Inter's elimination after tying 3–3 on aggregate and losing 3–5 on penalties.[80][81] Over all it was a subpar season from him, scoring just 3 goals in 30 appearances across all competitions.

2016–17 seasonEdit

On 29 September 2016, he scored Inter's only goal in the 3–1 defeat Europa League group stage defeat against Sparta Praha.[82] He scored a goal against his future club Bologna to eliminate them from the Coppa Italia round of 16 with a 3–2 win on 17 January 2017.[83] The Argentine forward played 20 games but only scored 2 goals that season; one in the Europa League, one in the Coppa Italia, and none in Serie A. With his contract lasting until the end of this season, he played his last game for Inter on 28 May 2017.[84][85]

BolognaEdit

2017–18 seasonEdit

On 17 August 2017, Palacio signed a one-year contract with Bologna.[86]

He made his debut in a 1–1 draw vs Torino on 20 August, coming on as a substitute in the 82nd minute for Simone Verdi. He made his first full start on 10 September in a 0–3 loss against Napoli, being substituted off in the 77th minute for Bruno Petković.[87] A week later, he scored his first goal for the club in a 1–2 loss against Fiorentina at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, this was also the first time he played the full 90 minutes since his arrival in the summer.[88]

2018–19 seasonEdit

On 6 July 2018, Palacio renewed his contract, signing an additional year until 30 June 2019.[89]

Palacio began the season with a muscle injury in training, which ruled him out for 3 weeks.[90][91] He returned to the team on 21 October 2018, in a 2–2 draw against Torino, being subbed off at the 80th minute. In the next game, he scored just 2 minutes into the game in a 2–2 draw at Sassuolo.[92] On 16 March 2019, Palacio assisted Bologna's third goal to help Bologna beat Torino 2–3 in Turin.[93][94]

2019–20 seasonEdit

Palacio renewed his contract again on 4 July 2019, adding another year that will run through 30 June 2020.[95]

Palacio kicked off the season in the Coppa Italia, scoring the last goal in a 0–3 away win at AC Pisa on 18 August 2019.[96] On 15 September, he scored and assisted Riccardo Orsolini's winning goal in a 3–4 victory against Brescia after trailing 3–1 at half-time.[97][98] On 1 February 2020, he assisted Mattia Bani's 90th minute game winner versus Brescia, a 2–1 victory.[99]

International careerEdit

Palacio played his first match with the Argentina national team on 8 March 2005 in a friendly match against Mexico which ended in a 1–1 draw at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.[100] Later that month, on 25 March, he played his first competitive match, a 2–1 away victory in a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Bolivia, with Palacio playing the last eight minutes of the match. He was selected by the coach José Pékerman for the following year's World Cup, and was given the shirt number 14. He made his debut in the tournament, entering the pitch in the 64th minute and helping the team win the first match of Group C against the Ivory Coast in a 2–1 victory.[101] He did not play any more matches until the end of the tournament, with Argentina being eliminated from the tournament in the quarter-finals after losing 4–2 on penalties (1–1 in extra time) against Germany.[102][103][104]

Under new Argentina coach Alfio Basile, Palacio was selected for the 2007 Copa América and given the shirt number 7. He played his first match of the tournament in the team's last match in Group C against Paraguay, starting and playing 90 minutes in a 1–0 victory at the Estadio Metropolitano de Cabudare.[105] Argentina finished as group winners, beating the United States, Colombia and Paraguay. He made his second appearance after playing the last 12 minutes in a 3–0 win against Mexico, securing Argentina's place in the semi-finals of the tournament.[106] In the final, he was an unused substitute as Argentina lost 3–0 to rivals Brazil.[107]

On 15 June 2008, more than three years after his debut with Argentina, Palacio scored his first goal for his country via equalizer in the 93rd minute in a 1–1 draw against Ecuador for the 5th round of 2010 World Cup qualification.[108] He played only two matches in 2008, and did not play any minutes for the national team during 2009 and 2010, meaning that he was not included in the squad for the 2010 World Cup by coach Diego Maradona.

After his good form with Genoa during the second part of the 2010–11 season and first part of 2011–12, Palacio received his first call-up by new national team coach Alejandro Sabella for the 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Venezuela.[109] On 11 October 2011, he played his first match for the national team after a three-year absence, entering the field in the final 15 minutes of a 1–0 loss against Venezuela, with defender Fernando Amorebieta scoring the only goal of the match.[110]

 
Rodrigo Palacio (number 18) lining up with Argentina against Uruguay.

After an impressive 2012–13 season with Inter, Palacio became a regular member of the Argentina national team under Sabella. During the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup, he played eight matches and assisted several goals that helped Argentina finish first place in its group with 32 points.[111] He scored his second goal for Argentina on 11 October 2013, scoring the third goal in the 3–1 victory against Peru in round 17 of the qualifiers.[112]

Palacio's good form continued in 2014, scoring the opening goal of the match after a corner kick taken by Ángel Di María on 4 June in a 3–0 win against Trinidad and Tobago.[113][114] Later in that match, he made a good run by dribbling the goalkeeper and assisted the third goal of the match scored by winger Ezequiel Lavezzi.[115][116] After playing another friendly match against Slovenia, the team traveled to Brazil to play in the 2014 World Cup; he was included on the list of 23 players selected by coach Alejandro Sabella to participate.[117] Notably he received a brilliant opportunity to score in the final against Germany during the 7th minute of extra time, when he received an exceptional pass from Marcos Rojo and controlled it with his chest, which left him one-on-one with the keeper, but his attempt to lob the ball over Manuel Neuer missed the goal completely.[118] After the match, a phrase that said "Era por abajo, Palacio" (It was through the bottom, Palacio) became viral.[119]

On 8 September 2014, at the age of 32, Palacio retired from international football, saying that there are better players to take his spot on the national team.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

Palacio has a daughter named Juana that was born in May 2010 in Bahía Blanca.[120] He is in a relationship with Wendy Palacio.[121] They have known each other since they were kids.[122][123]

His father, José Ramón Palacio, was also a footballer.[3]

Style of playEdit

Palacio is a diminutive, tactically intelligent, and technically gifted player, with an eye for goal.[124][125][126] A versatile and creative forward, he is capable of playing in several offensive positions, and has been deployed as a striker, as a second striker, and as a winger.[124][127] In addition to his skills, he is also known for his defensive work-rate.[128][129]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of match played 20 September 2021[130][131][132]
Club Season League Cup[a] Continental[b] Other[c] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Huracán 2002–03 Primera B Nacional 34 7 34 7
2003–04 Primera B Nacional 19 8 19 8
Total 53 15 53 15
Banfield 2003–04 Argentine Primera División 19 2 2 2 21 4
2004–05 Argentine Primera División 17 7 17 7
Total 36 9 2 2 38 11
Boca Juniors 2004–05 Argentine Primera División 15 3 7 2 22 5
2005–06 Argentine Primera División 32 17 7 5 2 0 41 22
2006–07 Argentine Primera División 33 19 12 6 2 3 47 28
2007–08 Argentine Primera División 31 10 13 4 2 1 46 15
2008–09 Argentine Primera División 20 5 7 5 2 2 29 12
Total 131 54 46 22 8 6 185 82
Genoa 2009–10 Serie A 31 7 0 0 6 1 37 8
2010–11 Serie A 27 9 2 0 29 9
2011–12 Serie A 32 19 2 2 34 21
Total 90 35 4 2 6 1 100 38
Inter Milan 2012–13 Serie A 26 12 3 2 10 8 39 22
2013–14 Serie A 37 17 2 2 39 19
2014–15 Serie A 35 8 0 0 6 4 41 12
2015–16 Serie A 27 2 3 1 30 3
2016–17 Serie A 15 0 2 1 3 1 20 2
Total 140 39 10 6 19 13 169 58
Bologna 2017–18 Serie A 28 4 0 0 28 4
2018–19 Serie A 28 3 3 0 31 3
2019–20 Serie A 35 7 1 1 36 8
2020–21 Serie A 36 5 1 0 37 5
Total 127 19 5 1 132 20
Brescia 2021–22 Serie B 5 1 0 0 5 1
Career total 582 172 19 9 73 38 8 6 682 225

InternationalEdit

 
Rodrigo Palacio at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final against Germany.

Source:[133]

Argentina
Year Apps Goals
2005 2 0
2006 1 0
2007 3 0
2008 2 1
2009 0 0
2010 0 0
2011 1 0
2012 1 0
2013 10 1
2014 7 1
Total 27 3

International goalsEdit

Scores and results list Argentina's goal tally first. Score column indicates score after each Palacio goal.

No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 15 June 2008 Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina   Ecuador 1–1 1–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
2. 11 October 2013   Peru 3–1 3–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
3. 4 June 2014   Trinidad and Tobago 1–0 3–0 Friendly

HonoursEdit

 
Rodrigo Palacio playing for Inter.

ClubEdit

Boca Juniors[134]

InternationalEdit

Argentina

IndividualEdit

ReferencesEdit

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