Forget about Neymar and Messi. The star of this World Cup so far is an underdog, 22-year-old Colombia’s very own, JAMES (HAHM-ez), whose complete name is James David Rodríguez Rubio.
James has five World Cup 2014 goals. One more than Argentina’s Leonel Messi, Brazil’s Neymar and Germany’s Thomas Müller
Some are calling James the new Maradona
Named by FIFA as the best player in the first phase of the World Cup, the midfielder scored five goals and made two assists during the first four matches played by Colombia, which had not played in a World Cup since 1998. Rodríguez’s excellence has propelled Los Cafeteros to the quarterfinal round for the first time in the competition’s history.
On July 4, Colombia will play Brazil at the Arena Castelão stadium in Fortaleza.
“It’s a dream come true to have made history and we want to do even more. This is a team that really wants to win,” said Rodríguez, after scoring twice in Colombia’s 2-0 Round of 16 win against Uruguay at Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro on June 28.
James David Rodríguez Rubio born 12 July 1991) plays for Ligue 1 club AS Monaco and the Colombian national team.
Played either on the wing or in an attacking midfield role, Rodríguez is commonly ranked as one of the best young players in the world. He has received praise for his technique, vision and playmaking skills, and has been referred to as the successor to his compatriot Carlos Valderrama.
His emergence in the Colombia national football team started with the U-20 national team, where he was captain of the 2011 Toulon Tournament-winning side. He eventually captained the U-20 team during the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which eventually led him to become a regular on the senior squad by age 20. He was selected to play in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
At club level, Rodríguez starred for Porto in 2012 and was named the best player in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, receiving the Portuguese Golden Ball, and becoming the youngest player to receive the award. In 2013, Rodríguez moved from Porto to Monaco for a transfer fee of €45 million, making him the second most expensive Colombian in history after Radamel Falcao, and one of the most expensive players in world football history.