The 2010 UEFA European Futsal Championship final marked the end of an era: with his 99th goal on his 159th international appearance, clinching a fourth title for himself and Spain, captain Javi Rodríguez bowed out.
His strike in the 4-2 defeat of Portugal in Debrecen was typically stylish – a back-heel that bamboozled the opposition defence. At 35, the FC Barcelona winger had completed a haul few could match – alongside his European titles of 2001, 2005, 2007 and now 2010 he had helped Spain win the 2000 and 2004 FIFA Futsal World Cups and reach the 2008 final.
Rodríguez came of age in the 2000 World Cup final when his two double penalties in the last four minutes gave Spain a 4-3 win against Brazil, who had previously monopolised the title. At the 2001 EURO in Moscow, Rodríguez scored in every game other than the final defeat of Ukraine, and having helped Playas de Castellón FS win the first two UEFA Futsal Cups in 2002 and 2003, he played a vital role in Spain regaining the European title in Ostrava in 2005 and retaining it two years later in Porto, scoring in the decider against Italy.
Even in his swansong in Hungary, Rodríguez continued to make headlines. His final goal was his fifth of the tournament, giving him a share of the adidas Golden Boot.
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