Will Maxi be born again at Anfield?

For the past couple of days the blog has been doing tours of the block wracking its tiny brains trying to think of something meaningful that Maxi Rodríguez has contributed to the Atlético Madrid cause in recent seasons.

It came up with diddly-poo.

NEWS: Maxi Rodriguez completes move to Liverpool

But, to be fair, the blog had the same result when trying to think of anything that any player has contributed to the Atlético Madrid cause in the same period.

In La Liga Loca's world, Maxi was Magic Eye.

Not for any supernatural ocular abilities, but because he was akin to those 3D pictures where people would repeatedly lie to the blog claiming that if it squinted hard enough, it would see the image of a giant space squid attacking Frank Bough.

For years, La Liga Loca has sat in the Vicente Calderón among people pointing at the Rojiblanco midfielder whilst gushing and gooing over the player’s supposed sublime skills.

But the blog could never see their side of the story.

Instead, what it saw was a footballer who had flashes of inspiration once in a blue moon and was ill-suited to his right-wing berth due to a lack of panache and crossing abilities.

“Like Craig Bellamy, without the pace and completely one-footed,” was the description of one long-standing Atleti fan to the blog on Maxi’s footballing attributes.


Maxi's Madrid medical

However, this is not to say that La Liga Loca has not been completely wrong in its assessment of the Liverpool-bound Argentinian.

One of the biggest reasons to drop into the blog’s world from time to time is to read how spectacularly misguided it can be on a whole range of topics.

Highlights of past seasons include forthright opinions on Pep Guardiola - “too inexperienced”, Alexander Hleb - “a great asset” and Gonzalo Higuaín - “a bottler."

Then there are more up-to-date prediction calamities: Mallorca - “relegation certainties”, Zaragoza - “a European berth beckons!”, Cristiano Ronaldo - “will dive more than Jacques Cousteau."

Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

Nevertheless, cold hard facts back up the blog’s indifference to all things Maxi, to some extent.

In the past two seasons, the Argentinian has contributed just 14 league goals in 68 matches.

In the current campaign that total is even poorer with two goals in 14 games, his last appearance coming the 1-1 draw against Tenerife before the Christmas break.

The subsequent transfer talk has seen Maxi missing out on a farewell appearance for Atleti in 2010.


Celebrating a wonder-goal at Germany 2006 - watch it here

But the issue for Maxi in recent seasons hasn't been the lack of goals as much as the complete lethargy of many of his performances.

AS argue that he simply hasn’t been the same player since his knee-ligament injury picked up in a friendly against Spain on a horrible pitch in Murcia in October 2006.

However, it is Maxi’s sulky, stroppy attitude that the blog feels has been the biggest problem with the midfielder.

Last summer it led to him being stripped of the club captaincy after falling out with the various managers of the side and even throwing his armband to the ground after a substitution.

With just six months left on Maxi’s contract, Atlético Madrid have taken the wise decision to part company while there is still money to be made from a player who has been at the Vicente Calderón since 2004.


"I like these colours"

Maxi will have the chance to kick-start a desperately flagging career at Anfield where he will be bumping into a friendly face in the form of Fernando Torres, a player he got on well with during their time together in the Spanish capital.

Having been mentally and physically worn down by the endless trials and tribulations at Atlético, Maxi now has the chance for a fresh start in England in a league where he possesses the technically abilities to quickly adapt and indeed flourish.

It just remains to be seen whether Maxi still has the will to begin all over again.

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