After helping the Foxes climb to second in the table, Rodgers has signed a five-and-a-half year deal to stay at the King Power amid Arsenal interest
He speaks Spanish, he’s learning French and he can get by in Italian.
In the dressing room, though, Brendan Rodgers has occasionally been known to dip into another language.
“I use a quote with the players,” he once said. “’Per aspera ad astra’, which is Latin for ‘Through adversity to the stars’.”
It’s a nice line – typical Rodgers, you might say.
It’s also one which could easily be applied to his own career.
He’s known adversity, that’s for sure. But if the measure of the man, or the manager, is in the response, then Rodgers can hold his head high.
It is little more than four years since he first left the Premier League, sacked by Liverpool, mocked by those who revelled in his demise at Anfield.
‘Fraudgers’, his critics called him. They were unimpressed by his evangelism, his talk of “death by football”, “wonderful character” and “flipping the triangle”. His soundbites were compared, cruelly, to those of David Brent.
“Acta non verba,” might have been a more appropriate Latin phrase to describe that particular time. “Deeds not words,” it means. Rodgers, at that point, was seen as a manager who talked a good game but not much more. Style over substance was the consensus.
Even his success at Liverpool – the 2013-14 campaign which so nearly brought the Premier League title – was dismissed as the work of a fired-up Luis Suarez. Even six years on, it remains a terribly unfair assessment, one which understandably still rankles.
“I hope when I finish my career I’ll be respected as a coach,” Rodgers said recently. He is going the right way about achieving that. Since leaving Liverpool, he’s rebuilt superbly.
Celtic was a good choice, the right club at the right time. Pressure, yes, but also the opportunity to build, to learn and to win. His CV lacked silverware when he left Liverpool, but that would change in Glasgow.
Even so, Rodgers exceeded expectations at Parkhead. He won every domestic trophy Celtic entered, including a memorable unbeaten season in his first campaign.
Had he not chosen, controversially, to leave for Leicester back in February, he would likely have collected an unprecedented ‘treble treble’ in Scotland.
“I knew after being at Liverpool that I could manage any club in the world,” he has said. His time in Scotland proved he could build winning teams as well as attractive ones. “We created history,” he said.
His departure from Celtic, understandably, upset some. When you talk as much as Rodgers, you always risk being tied up by your own words.
The rhetoric he pushed about being a lifelong fan, about it being his “dream job”, was always likely to be challenged once the Premier League came calling. Plenty of Hoops fans will never accept his decision to walk away mid-season.
Others, though, are more understanding. Rodgers delivered success in Glasgow, but his future, his real future, was always going to lie south of the border.
“Safe is death,” he has said in the past, and if you have spent any sort of time in his company, you will know he was always going to jump when Leicester, a club with means, ambition and quality footballers, knocked.
So far so good, as far as Leicester are concerned.
Since Rodgers’ arrival, only Liverpool and Manchester City have picked up more Premier League points. His stock has risen. Arsenal were among the noted suitors before the news of a new five-and-a-half year contract on Friday.
“Like a wine, you get better with age,” Rodgers has said. He was talking about himself, but he may easily have been referring to Jamie Vardy, the striker reborn under his tutelage.
Vardy has scored more goals in 2019 than any Premier League player, and has netted in each of his last seven as the Foxes have blasted themselves into the title picture.
They’re above City in second, albeit eight points adrift of Liverpool. Rodgers may rue the last-minute penalty which cost Leicester a draw at Anfield back in October.
When Unai Emery was sacked by Arsenal last week, Rodgers was immediately suggested as one of the favourites to replace him. In fairness, he did little to dampen the speculation after Leicester’s win over Everton last Sunday. That, in turn, probably forced Leicester’s hand in offering him a new and improved deal.
“I think since 2015 I deal with [pressure] much better,” he says. They say you learn most from the bad times, and the pain of his dismissal at Liverpool clearly continues to motivate Rodgers. “It was an incredible journey,” he says. He retains genuine affection but he, like the club, has moved on.
Will he one day leave Leicester like he left Celtic? He would certainly be tempted. He has an excellent side at the King Power, a far superior team to the one Emery left behind, but the lure of managing another of English football’s great institutions down the line would undoubtedly appeal.
Rodgers was close to landing the Tottenham job a few years back, and while he was at Liverpool he let it be known, through intermediaries, that if Manchester City were to change managers then he would be happy to be considered.
He has ambition, alright. Not that he will ever apologise for that. But right now that ambition is guiding Leicester.
“I sometimes think that when there is a British manager who has ambition, maybe there is something that is not liked,” he said. Ambition, he added, is one of the three things, along with “dedication” and “open communication”, which define him as a manager.
He may well add ‘resilience’ to that list in the future. Not much has come easy to Rodgers, in life or in management. He’s trodden some difficult paths, taken some difficult jobs, fought some difficult battles.
Through adversity. To the stars.