Name: James Rodriguez
International Caps: 25
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Along with Lionel Messi and Neymar, Rodriguez has undoubtedly been one of the standout performers of the World Cup so far. The attacking midfielder has racked up three goals and two assists in the competition in performances which have reportedly brought him to the attention of Manchester United and Tottenham. Colombia will be hoping that their star man continues this rich vein of form tonight in their second round tie against Uruguay.
Likened to Juan Roman Riquelme, Rodriguez was groomed from an early age as a central playmaker but has proven himself adept in recent years on the wing. The burden of a nation’s hopes were placed upon the midfielder after Radamel Falcao’s injury and the 22 year old has certainly not been overawed by the weight of expectation. Whilst a number of Colombia’s attacking talents have impressed in their qualification from Group C, Rodriguez is clearly the talisman that dictates their offensive play.
Operating in between the lines, the 22 year old creates space and is a difficult opponent for defenders to pin down. With a potent left foot, Rodriguez scores a number of his goals from these positions in and around the penalty area. In the wide areas, the Colombian possesses the pace and crossing ability to cause defences real problems.
In his first season in Ligue 1, Rodriguez netted nine times and recorded twelve assists. The Colombian finished the campaign as the division’s top creator, ahead of PSG pair Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lucas Moura.
Having signed in a combined deal with Joao Moutinho for a staggering £60 million, Monaco are unlikely to contemplate selling Rodriguez anytime soon. But if the Colombian keeps impressing at the World Cup, all the money in the world might not be enough to convince the 22 year old to stay should one of Europe’s elite come calling.
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