Rondón with Zenit in 2014
|Full name||José Salomón Rondón Giménez|
|Date of birth||16 September 1989|
|Place of birth||Caracas, Venezuela|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|1996–2004||San José de Calasanz|
|2014–2015||Zenit Saint Petersburg||37||(20)|
|2015–2019||West Bromwich Albion||108||(24)|
|2018–2019||→ Newcastle United (loan)||32||(12)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 3 October 2020|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13:56, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
José Salomón Rondón Giménez (Spanish pronunciation: [saloˈmon ronˈdon]; born 16 September 1989) is a Venezuelan professional footballer who plays as a striker for Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional and the Venezuela national team.
After starting out at Aragua, he went on to spend most of his career in Europe, appearing in La Liga with Málaga, the Russian Premier League with Rubin Kazan and Zenit Saint Petersburg (winning the 2015 national championship with the latter club) and the Premier League with West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United.
Born in Caracas, Rondón's sporting idols growing up were Ronaldo and Michael Jordan. He made his debut in the Venezuelan Primera División at the age of 17, appearing for Aragua FC against Carabobo FC on 8 October 2006; on 8 April of the following year he scored his first goal(s) for the club, in a 2–2 draw against Caracas FC.
In the summer of 2008, Rondón was signed by UD Las Palmas in Spain, and made his official debut on 5 October in a 1–2 away loss against Deportivo Alavés for the Segunda División championship. Almost one year after his arrival, on 2 September 2009, he netted his first goal, in a Copa del Rey match against Cádiz CF – becoming the youngest foreign player to ever score for the club, at the age of 19 years, 11 months and 17 days– and finished the season with ten goals in 36 games, as the Canary Islands side narrowly avoided relegation.
On 19 July 2010, Málaga CF signed Rondón for a record €3.5 million transfer fee. He scored his first goal for the Andalusians exactly two months later, in a 1–2 home defeat against Sevilla FC in La Liga. Four days later, he opened the score in a 2–0 win at Getafe CF, adding a third the following week in a 2–3 home loss to Villarreal CF.
On 1 May 2011, Rondón contributed with one goal as Málaga came from behind at home to defeat Hércules CF 3–1. That was his 13th goal of the campaign, with which he surpassed the record of goals from a Venezuelan footballer in the Spanish top flight previously held by Juan Arango; the team finally escaped relegation, with the player finishing as their top scorer.
Rondón started 2011–12 on the substitutes bench. He eventually beat competition from ageing Ruud van Nistelrooy, again finishing as Málaga's best scorer – this included goals in narrow home wins against RCD Espanyol (2–1) and Levante UD (1–0), and a brace against Rayo Vallecano (4–2 success, also at La Rosaleda Stadium).
In August 2012, Rondón signed for Russian Premier League team FC Rubin Kazan, for a reported fee of €10 million which made him the most expensive Venezuelan player in history. He made his league debut on the 12th in a 2–0 home win over FC Dynamo Moscow, and he scored his first goal against FC Terek Grozny on 1 September, albeit in a 1–2 home defeat.
Rondón made his first appearance in the UEFA Europa League against Inter Milan, and he scored once in a 2–2 group stage away draw, also playing the entire match. In the second match between the two sides he netted a brace in the final three minutes, helping his team to a 3–0 win.
On 10 March 2013, following the winter break in the Russian Premier League, Rondón scored the only goal of the match as Rubin claimed a home victory over reigning champions FC Zenit Saint Petersburg. In continental competition, he opened up the scoring in the 100th minute of the round-of-16 clash against Levante, latching on to a cross from Bibras Natkho as the hosts won it 2–0 in that leg and on aggregate.
On 19 April 2013, Rondón opened the scoring for Rubin, who could only manage a 1–1 draw at relegation-threatened FC Amkar Perm. In the club's next league match, against PFC CSKA Moscow, he netted the first goal in a 2–0 victory over the league leaders and eventual champions.
On 31 January 2014, Rondón underwent a medical and joined fellow league club Zenit Saint Petersburg, signing a five-year contract for a fee in the region of £15.8 million. He played his first game for his new team on 25 February, scoring in an eventual 2–1 away win against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League's round of 16-second-leg (4–5 aggregate defeat).
On 6 April 2014, again as a second-half substitute, Rondón scored a rare second-half hat-trick in a 6–2 home routing of former team Rubin. On 20 September he added another three, in a 5–0 win at FC Rostov.
West Bromwich Albion
On 10 August 2015, Rondón joined English club West Bromwich Albion on a four-year-deal for a club-record fee of £12 million. He made his debut in the Premier League five days later, replacing Craig Gardner in the 62nd minute of an eventual 0–0 away draw against Watford. On 23 August, he made his first start, at the expense of Tottenham Hotspur-linked Saido Berahino, in a 2–3 home defeat to Chelsea, assisting James Morrison in his first goal and later being brought down by John Terry who received a straight red card.
Rondón scored his first goal for the Baggies on 29 August 2015, netting the game's only in stoppage time of the first half of the away fixture against nine-man Stoke City. On 19 December, he was sent off at the end of a 1–2 home loss to Bournemouth for thrusting his head at Dan Gosling, with teammate James McClean also dismissed in the first half; he finished his first season in English football with ten goals.
Rondón began the 2016–17 campaign strongly, scoring the winner in the opening match win over Crystal Palace, then continued his impressive form in September with goals in consecutive matches against West Ham United and Stoke. On 21 November he netted once and provided an assist in a 4–0 victory over Burnley, and on 14 December, against Swansea City, he scored his first Premier League hat-trick after netting three headers in a 3–1 win, which was only the second time this feat was achieved in the history of the competition, the first being Everton's Duncan Ferguson in 1997.
Rondón's goal in 1–1 draw with Tottenham, on 25 November 2017, made him the first Venezuelan to score at either the rebuilt Wembley Stadium or the original facilities, as well as the first Albion player to score at the new ground. The following 20 January, early into the second half of the away fixture against Everton, he accidentally broke James McCarthy's leg, and was reduced to tears upon realising the extent of McCarthy's injury; recalling the incident in an interview some months later also caused him to become upset.
On 6 August 2018, Rondón joined Newcastle United on a one-year loan swap, with Dwight Gayle heading in the opposite direction. He made his debut five days later, in a 2–1 home loss against Tottenham on the opening day of the season. He scored his first goal in a 3–1 EFL Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest on 29 August.
Rondón opened his league account on 10 November 2018, scoring twice to help the hosts defeat Bournemouth 2–1. In the second half of the season, his partnership up front with Ayoze Pérez began to take shape and the Venezuelan often assisted the Spaniard with his goals. He also maintained a steady record in terms of goalscoring and was neck-and-neck with Pérez until the latter stages of the campaign, finishing with eleven league goals—just one behind his teammate.
On 19 July 2019, Rondón signed with Dalian Professional F.C. (then Dalian Yifang) of the Chinese Super League, reuniting with manager Rafael Benítez who had joined the club two weeks before and reportedly activated the player's release clause of £16.5 million.
Rondón appeared for the Venezuela under-20 side in the 2009 FIFA World Cup in Egypt. He scored four times during the competition – as teammate Yonathan del Valle, with both netting hat-tricks in the 8–0 group stage routing of Tahiti – as the former managed to qualify to the last-16 stage.
Previously, on 3 February 2008, 18-year-old Rondón made his debut for the senior team in a friendly with Haiti, scoring his first goal on 23 March against El Salvador (another exhibition match, another 1–0 win).In 2011, he took 4th place at Copa America. For this, the team received copper medals. Selected by manager Noel Sanvicente to the 2015 Copa América, he scored in La Vinotinto's first game of the tournament to help defeat Colombia 1–0; later that year, he was among 15 national players who threatened to quit the team after the president of the Venezuelan Football Federation accused them of conspiring to get the manager sacked.
On 5 June 2016, during the Copa América Centenario, Rondón earned his 50th cap, starting in a 1–0 group stage win against Jamaica in Chicago. He scored the only goal of the following game against Uruguay to become the first Venezuelan player to find the net at three tournaments, and repeated the feat in the quarter-finals, a 1–4 defeat to Argentina.
- As of match played 8 September 2020.
|West Bromwich Albion||2015–16||34||9||6||1||—||40||10|
|Newcastle United (loan)||2018–19||32||11||1||1||—||33||12|
- As of 19 November 2019
- As of 19 November 2019 (Venezuela score listed first, score column indicates score after each Rondón goal)
|1||23 March 2008||José Antonio Anzoátegui, Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela||3||El Salvador||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|2||11 February 2009||Estadio Monumental, Maturín, Venezuela||4||Guatemala||2–1||2–1|
|3||9 February 2011||José Antonio Anzoátegui, Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela||10||Costa Rica||1–1||2–2|
|5||13 July 2011||Padre Ernesto Martearena, Salta, Argentina||13||Paraguay||1–0||3–3||2011 Copa América|
|6||24 May 2012||Polideportivo Cachamay, Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela||22||Moldova||2–0||4–0||Friendly|
|8||2 June 2012||Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay||23||Uruguay||1–1||1–1||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|9||11 September 2012||Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay||25||Paraguay||1–0||2–0|
|11||26 March 2013||Polideportivo Cachamay, Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela||29||Colombia||1–0||1–0|
|12||10 September 2013||José Antonio Anzoátegui, Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela||33||Peru||1–1||3–2|
|13||14 June 2015||El Teniente, Rancagua, Chile||38||Colombia||1–0||1–0||2015 Copa América|
|14||8 September 2015||Polideportivo Cachamay, Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela||43||Panama||1–1||1–1||Friendly|
|15||27 May 2016||Estadio Nacional, San José, Costa Rica||48||Costa Rica||1–0||1–2|
|16||1 June 2016||Lockhart Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, United States||49||Guatemala||1–1||1–1|
|17||9 June 2016||Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, United States||51||Uruguay||1–0||1–0||Copa América Centenario|
|18||18 June 2016||Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, United States||53||Argentina||1–3||1–4||Copa América Centenario|
|19||28 March 2017||Monumental David Arellano, Santiago, Chile||59||Chile||1–3||1–3||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|20||11 September 2018||Rommel Fernández, Panama City, Panama||68||Panama||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|22||22 March 2019||Metropolitano Stadium, Madrid, Spain||71||Argentina||1–0||3–1|
|23||9 June 2019||Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, United States||73||United States||1–0||3–0|
|25||10 October 2019||Estadio Olímpico, Caracas, Venezuela||78||Bolivia||3–0||4–1|
|27||14 October 2019||79||Trinidad and Tobago||1–0||2–0|
|28||19 November 2019||Panasonic Stadium Suita, Suita, Japan||80||Japan||1–0||4–1||2019 Kirin Challenge Cup|
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