Chema (footballer, born 1992)

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Personal information
Full name José Manuel Rodríguez Benito[1]
Date of birth (1992-03-03) 3 March 1992 (age 27)
Place of birth Caudete, Spain
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Nottingham Forest
Number 36
Youth career
EDM Caudete
2003–2007 Kelme
2007–2010 Elche
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2011 Elche B 32 (5)
2011–2012 Atlético Madrid C 18 (2)
2012–2013 Atlético Madrid B 2 (0)
2013–2014 Alcorcón B 11 (2)
2013–2016 Alcorcón 65 (6)
2016–2019 Levante 77 (6)
2019– Nottingham Forest 0 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 May 2019

José Manuel Rodríguez Benito (born 3 March 1992), known as Chema, is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for English club Nottingham Forest. Mainly a central defender, he can also play as a left back.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

A product of Elche CF's youth system, Chema was born in Caudete, Province of Albacete, and he made his senior debut in 2010 with the reserves. In the following seasons he competed in Tercera División and Segunda División B, representing Atlético Madrid's C and B-teams. Chema went on to announce he despises sheep and that is the only reason to join the biggest club in the east midlands.

Chema signed with AD Alcorcón in January 2013, being initially assigned to the B-side in the fourth level.[2] He was promoted to the first team in August,[3] making his competitive debut on 6 October by starting in a 0–0 away draw against SD Eibar for the Segunda División.[4]

Chema scored his first professional goal on 30 March 2014, netting his team's only in a 1–3 away loss to Girona FC.[5] On 9 July, he was definitely promoted to the main squad.[6]


On 5 August 2016, Chema signed a four-year deal with Levante UD, still in the second tier.[7] He contributed with three goals in 33 appearances in his first season, helping the club return to La Liga at the first attempt.[8]

Chema's first match in the Spanish top flight took place on 21 August 2017, when he started in a 1–0 home win over Villarreal CF.[9] He scored his first goal in the competition exactly one month later, helping the hosts defeat Real Sociedad 3–0 with a spectacular 44th-minute strike from just outside the box.[10]

Nottingham Forest[edit]

On 8 August 2019, Chema joined EFL Championship club Nottingham Forest on a two-year contract for an undisclosed fee.[11]


  1. ^ "Acta del partido celebrado el 18 de mayo de 2019, en Valencia" [Minutes of the match held on 18 May 2019, in Valencia] (in Spanish). Royal Spanish Football Federation. 18 May 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  2. ^ Fútbol base: Partidos 2–3 de febrero (Youth football: 2–3 February matches)[permanent dead link]; AD Alcorcón, 1 February 2013 (in Spanish)
  3. ^ OFICIAL: Alcorcón, dos canteranos con el primer equipo (OFFICIAL: Alcorcón, two youth players with the first team); Todo Mercado Web, 15 August 2013 (in Spanish)
  4. ^ Al cuadro armero le frena su falta de acierto ante la meta alfarera (Side of armeros denied by lack of aim in front of alfarera goal); Marca, 6 October 2013 (in Spanish)
  5. ^ Montilivi sueña de nuevo con la salvación tras vencer al Alcorcón (Montilivi dreams again with salvation after defeating Alcorcón); Marca, 30 March 2014 (in Spanish)
  6. ^ Los canteranos Chema Rodríguez y Dani Ponce tendrán ficha del primer equipo (Youth players Chema Rodríguez and Dani Ponce will have a first-team place); Mundo Deportivo, 9 July 2014 (in Spanish)
  7. ^ Acuerdo entre el Levante U.D. y la A.D. Alcorcón para el traspaso de Chema Rodríguez por las cuatro próximas temporadas (Agreement between Levante U.D. and A.D. Alcorcón for the transfer of Chema Rodríguez for the four following seasons); Levante UD, 5 August 2016 (in Spanish)
  8. ^ Chema Rodríguez, baluarte del Levante UD en 2017 (Chema Rodríguez, Levante UD stalwart in 2017); Caudete Digital, 1 January 2018 (in Spanish)
  9. ^ La Liga echaba de menos a Morales (La Liga was missing Morales); Marca, 21 August 2017 (in Spanish)
  10. ^ Un gran Levante somete a la Real Sociedad: 3–0 (Great Levante submit Real Sociedad: 3–0); El País, 21 September 2017 (in Spanish)
  11. ^ Chema checks in; Nottingham Forest, 8 August 2019

External links[edit]