James Rodriguez: Player Profile

Colombia’s World Cup SuperStar

Personal information 
Full name: James David Rodríguez Rubio
Date of birth: 12 July 1991
Age: 22
Place of birth: Cucuta, Colombia
Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position: Attacking midfielder, winger

Club information 
Current team: Monaco
Number: 10

Youth career 
1995–2007: Envigado

Senior career
2007–2008: Envigado 30 Appearances, 9 goals
2008–2010: Banfield 50 Appearances, 10 goals
2010–2013: Porto 105 Appearances, 32 goals
2013– Monaco 38 Appearances, 10 goals

National team 
2007 Colombia U17 11 Appearances, 3 goals
2011 Colombia U20 5 Appearances, 3 goals
2011– Colombia 26 Appearances, 10 goals

The Monaco midfielder has exploded on to the worldwide stage at this tournament smashing in five goals already to top the goalscoring chart. The 22-year-old Colombian has arguably been the star of the show in Brazil and has mesmerised with a number of superb performances for his country.

Even before his sensational wonder-volley against Uruguay, the man known only as James had already caught the eye in leading Los Cafeteros to the knockout stages. Indeed, so good has the Monaco man been people are forgetting a certain Radamel Falcao isn't even there.

James was born in Cucuta in 1991. Away from football, James is married to the sister of teammate David Ospina. He and Daniela have been married for three years and have a one-year-old daughter Salome. Brought up in the city of Ibague Rodriguez was actually named after James Bond.

His father was a footballer also, but was largely absent leaving his godfather Juan Carlos Restrepo to look out for him and guide his early football development.

James began his career with the Academia Tolimense football school before getting his big break following his performances at the Pony Futbol championships in 2004. James moved to Medellin and progressed through the ranks even paying for private coaching with renowned coach Omar Suarez.

But he never went on to fulfil his potential with them as, after making only a single first-team appearance, he was snapped up by Argentine side Banfield in 2008. He became the youngest foreign player to ever play in the Argentine league and went on to explode on to the consciousness of many in the country with a string of impressive displays.

Such was his talent in one match, a 2-0 win over Lanaus, that sports website Diario Ole likened him to Cristiano Ronaldo and labelled him the "James Bond of Banfield".

In 2010 James signed for Portuguese side Porto in a €5.1million deal penning a four-year-contract complete with a €30million release clause. After just one season, in which he settled in almost immediately, Porto knew they had a diamond on their hands and tied him down to a new five-year deal where that clause was increased to €45m.

In 2011 James captained his country in the Under-20 Toulon tournament before helping them to the quarter-finals of the Youth World Cup later that year. James continued to go from strength to strength netting 14 goals with 11 assists in 2011/12 to win the breakthrough player of the year award aged just 20. Rodriguez was handed the iconic number 10 jersey to begin the 2012/13 season and grew into his role as Porto's main man.

With Hulk, Fredy Guarin and Radamel Falcao now plying their trade elsewhere the club needed James to fill the void, a role he relished. The subsequent league title was James’ eighth trophy in just three years and left him primed for a move to bigger and better things.

In May 2013 AS Monaco signed him for a fee believed to be €45million making James the second most expensive player in Portuguese history. Again James settled quickly and shone in the newly-promoted side chipping in with 10 goals and 12 assists in his debut season.

While finishing trophyless is an almost foreign concept for the 22-year-old, Monaco did finish in the Champions League places at the first attempt, and he himself was named in the Ligue 1 team of the year.

Shorn of star man Falcao much was expected of James in Brazil - and he has delivered and then some.

Netting in each of Los Cafeteros four games James now leads the goalscoring charts ahead of the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar. Should he seize the chance to knock the hosts out in Fortaleza on Friday James could well rubber stamp his place as the definitive star of the tournament.