Real Madrid legend: Emiliano Rodriguez
May 2, 2013
Emiliano Rodriguez was one of the best European players of his generation as well as an unstoppable scorer and a gentleman like few others in basketball history. Born in 1937, Rodriguez started his career with Aismalibar, near Barcelona, and joined Real Madrid in 1960, soon taking its basketball section to new heights. Rodriguez led Real Madrid to its early European successes, winning four Euroleague titles in from 1964 to 1968 and reaching three other finals during the 1960s. Rodriguez totaled 59 points in two games against Spartak Brno to lead Madrid to its first-ever continental crown in 1964. He also won nine Spanish Cup titles and lifted 12 Spanish league trophies from 1961 to 1973. In short, Rodriguez was arguably the most successful European basketball player of the 1960s. In fact, Rodriguez averaged 23.6 points in the four Euroleague finals he won with Madrid and remains a basketball icon in Spain. Rodriguez also shined with the Spanish national team, taking part in 175 consecutive games. He played in seven EuroBaskets – earning MVP honors in 1963 – and two Olympic Games. His outstanding career matches his great sportsmanship. Upon his retirement in 1973, Rodriguez was awarded the prestigious Fair Play Award by UNESCO. He also received the FIBA Order of Merit in 1997. Chosen by Euroleague Basketball as one of the 50 greatest contributors to European club competitions in 2008 and enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007, Rodriguez now works for Real Madrid as a presidential advisor in basketball.

Emiliano Rodriguez (Photo: Real Madrid Archive)

Moments in time

1964: Madrid conquers a continent

Real Madrid won its first Euroleague title on point differential in a two-way series against Spartak Brno of Czechoslovakia. Madrid downed Brno 84-64 at home in decisive Game 2 as Emiliano Rodriguez scored 28 points and Clifford Luyk added 25.

1968: European domination

Real Madrid again defeated Spartak Brno for the title, this time 98-95 in the single-game Euroleague final, to claim its fourth continental crown in five years. Miles Aiken paced the winners with 26 points, while Wayne Brabender scored 22.

1974: the Madrid-Varese rivalry

In the first of their four title games between 1974 and 1978, Real Madrid edged perennial finalist Varese of Italy 84-82. Carmelo Cabrera came off the bench for 16 points added to 22 scored by Brabender as Madrid won its sixth continental crown.

1989: the Drazen Petrovic show

In one of the best basketball games ever played, Real Madrid won an epic battle with Snaidero Caserta of Italy by 117-113 in overtime of the 1989 Saporta Cup final. Drazen Petrovic was unstoppable with 62 points – 11 in the extra period.

1995: Sabonis adds to Madrid's legacy

After a 14-year drought, Real Madrid claimed its eighth Euroleague title – still the all-time record – after rolling past Olympiacos of Greece 73-61 in the final. Arvydas Sabonis had 23 points and was voted MVP while Joe Arlauckas scored 16.
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