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Rodrigo Melendez

Topics: Expatriate footballers in Argentina

Rodrigo David Melendez Araya is Chilean football player, who currently plays for Chilean club Colo-Colo as a defensive midfielder. Also known as Kalule, he is acknowledged for his strength, tenacity and mostly his aggressive grasp of the game. He is very laid back off the field.

Cobreloa

As a youth player, Melendez was rejected by Chilean giants Colo-Colo and Universidad de Chile because of his height. Instead Chilean club Cobreloa gave him his start. He debuted in the [[Liga Chilena de Futbol: Primera Division|Liga Chilena]] for Cobreloa in 1996. Throughout his stay with the team, Melendez was a first team regular. In 2003, his last year with the club, Cobreloa won both the apertura and clasura tournaments.

Argentina

After a seven year career in his native Chile, Melendez ventured across the Andes to Argentina. He arrived to Quilmes. a club in Buenos Aires, Argentina, His first season with the club was also the club's first in the Premier Argentinian Division.first division. The team surprised many by finishing fourth in the apertura tournament and sixth in the clasura tournament. In only one season, Melendez had 32 caps for Quilmes before moving on to another team.

The next two years, Melendez would find himself on Estudiantes de La Plata. a well-known club from La Plata. During his stay with Estudiantes de La Plata he became somewhat of a fan favorite. Fan Surveys had him at the top of the list.In the 2004-2005 season, Estudiantes de La Plata finished fourth in both the apertura and clasura championship. Melendez left the country as one of the most accomplished Chilean players to play in Argentina.

Return to Chile

Melendez returned to Chile in 2006 to the same club which had rejected him years before, Colo-Colo. In the apertura tournament of 2006 Colo-Colo defeated Universidad de Chile to take home their twenty-fourth title in club history. However, Melendez was sidelined for the final game because of an injury. Currently he is a regular starter on Colo-Colo's squad that has reached the final of the Copa Sudamericana 2006 and the finals of the Clasura Tournament 2006 of the [[Liga Chilena de Futbol: Primera Division|Liga Chilena]] where he scored one goal in the 3-0 victory in the first leg against Audax Italiano.

International

Melendez would have been a part of the 2000 Chilean Olympic team in Sidney but missed the competition due to injury. He was part of Nelson Acosta's preolympic team and would have made the trip to Sidney where the team evenutally won the bronze medal.

Melendez made his international debut on July 1, 2001 against Brazil. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification, Melendez was a regular starter for Chile in the first-half of Chile . However, a defensive-midfielder duo with Claudio Maldonado and David Pizarro. Unfortunately, Chile failed to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup after drawing to Ecuador in the last game.

Melendez lone goal with La Roja came against Uruguay in their 2-1 loss in Montevideo.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Rodrigo Melendez