Liverpool's second departure of the summer has been expected since January, despite the hopes of fans—and, more recently, new manager Brendan Rodgers—that things might turn out differently. As it was with Dirk Kuyt last month, though, today the story ended the way we knew it would all along if we were being honest, as Maxi Rodriguez has left the club by mutual consent in order to return to Argentina.
Despite a growing sense that he would have a far larger role under Rogers than he did under Kenny Dalglish should the attacking midfielder decide to stay, in the end family concerns won out. Since arriving on a free in January of 2010, Maxi has grown into a cult hero of sorts for his timely goals and smart passing—and the infectious song the Kop dreamed up for him didn't hurt, either—and though he was never a lock for the starting eleven in his time at Liverpool, for most there will be only fond memories of the classy player and a lingering disappointment at the limited playing time he was given.
And as fondly as most fans will remember him, the letter he wrote to the supporters to mark his departure suggests he won't forget them, either:
Before signing for LFC, I just saw the club as one of the greatest institutions in football. After my time here I can confirm that this is not just a great club but also a great family.
I have tried to give everything every day that I was wearing the LFC crest. It has been a great honour to defend this shirt during two and a half years. I am returning home with a suitcase full of great memories, good friends within the team and also within this great family that works every day in the club. Thanks a lot for your support. You can NOT imagine what a great honour it was for me when the Kop sang, 'Maxi, Maxi Rodríguez runs down the wing for me da da da da dada...'
Hasta la vista.
He is expected to complete his move back to Newell's Old Boys shortly, returning to the club he began his career at and returning home to raise his young family, and while we're sad to see him go, we wish him all the best as he embarks on the final stage of his football career.