James Rodriguez completes Real Madrid move from Monaco
Champions League holders and 7/2 favourites Real Madrid have swooped for Colombia’s World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez in a reported £63m deal from mega-rich Ligue 1 runners-up Monaco.
Rodriguez, who starred at the World Cup for Colombia, joins Real on a six-year contract. He arrives as the Spanish giants prepare to defend their Champions League title, and steal back La Liga, after being pipped to the post by city rivals Atletico Madrid last season.
This super signing, which adds to Real’s already fearsome firepower, can also be considered a show of strength, with the capital club flexing their financial muscle, after bitter footballing enemy Barcelona snapped up Luis Suarez.
Rampant Rodriguez attracted Los Blancos’ attention after a stellar season, with the electrifying attacking midfielder inspiring his nation to the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in their history. After netting six times and providing two assists, Rodriguez deservedly won the Golden Boot Award for tournament top scorer, but missed out on the illustrious Golden Ball prize for best player.
Highly rated since his days as a wing-wizard for Porto, scoring 25 goals in 63 league appearances, and winning three consecutive Portuguese league titles, the South American star impressed after a big-money move to AS Monaco.
Rodriguez netted nine times and provided 12 assists in 34 league games, as the Ligue 1 side finished second behind PSG.
Where the versatile forward, who can play behind the striker or on the wing, will be deployed by Carlo Ancelotti remains to be seen. At his best in the number 10 role, the Colombian’s arrival will likely spell the end for Angel Di Maria and Spain star Isco’s Real careers.
Real boss Ancelotti favoured a 4-3-3 formation last term, with Rodriguez, who will likely claim the number 10 shirt, possibly replacing Di Maria as the attacking midfielder in front of Luca Modric and fellow new recruit Toni Kroos.
If that set-up proves to be too gung-ho, Rodriguez could also operate on the left of a front three, interchanging with superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, with the Portugal skipper starting as a striker.
This could be bad news for current Real and France forward Karim Benzema, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League.
However Los Blancos line up next season, the exciting additions of Rodriguez and Kroos have proven the European giants mean business, with a move for Monaco frontman Radamel Falcao also rumoured to be near completion.