Maxi Rodriguez, 40, is given amazing firework display as he is substituted in his last game for Newell’s Old Boys before retirement, as old team-mates Jordan Henderson and Lionel Messi pay tribute to the former Liverpool winger
- Maxi Rodriguez played last match featuring for boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys
- He departed to fireworks, hugs from players, as well as fan chants and flares
- The 40-year-old had tributes paid to him by Lionel Messi and Jordan Henderson
- Maxi featured for Liverpool between 2010 and 2012 before returning home
Maxi Rodriguez was given a huge send off as part of his final game as a professional footballer, having recently announced his retirement.
The former Liverpool and Barcelona midfielder played his final match for Newell’s Old Boys in his native Argentina on Monday night and was substituted just before the hour mark of his side’s 0-0 draw with Banfield.
Fighting back the tears, the 40-year-old departed the field at the club’s Marcelo Bielsa Stadium to the backdrop of a spectacular firework display for the former Argentina international.
Maxi Rodriguez looks on prior to his substitution in his last game as a professional footballer
The 40-year-old fought back the tears as he realised his football career had come to a close
As he made the slow exit, all of his team-mates greeted him with farewell hugs, with the match referee also acknowledging his departure from the sport with a consoling hug.
Supporters sang his name in unison while setting off red flares as he eventually departed the field via kissing the turf waving to fans in response.
Maxi had featured for Liverpool between 2010 and 2012 and he was given a send off message by his former team-mate and current Reds captain Jordan Henderson.
As he started to depart the field, the Newell’s Old Boys midfielder kissed the playing turf
Supporters sang his name and lit fares as he fan favourite made his final departure from play
The former Liverpool and Argentina star bids farewell to the supporters as he exits the pitch
The England star posted a message saying: ‘Hi Maxi it’s Jordan I’ve heard you have come to the decision of retiring from football.
‘So I just wanted to send you a quick message to say congrats on an amazing career. It was a pleasure to work and play with you at Liverpool. Take care mate and remember, you’ll never walk alone.’
Lionel Messi, who also came through the Newell’s Old Boys youth system in the late 1990s and played alongside Maxi for Argentina, also paid tribute.
He said: ‘It was an honour to share the pitch with you’.
Maxi started his career at the club as a youth prospect before signing senior terms in 1999 and leaving for Espanyol in 2002.
After a positive three seasons he moved to Atletico Madrid where he remained until a switch to the Reds.
Following his return to Newell’s Old Boys in 2012, he stayed at his boyhood club for five years before spending a year at Penarol and then returning for a third spell.
Maxi was also capped 56 times by Argentina between 2003 and 2014, scoring 15 goals, including one of the goals of the tournament when he netted a stunning extra-time effort to knock Mexico out of the 2006 World Cup in the last 16.
Maxi played for Liverpool between 2010 and 2012 before returning to his homeland
Maxi (left) celebrates scoring against Mexico at the 2006 World Cup in the last-16