I have never seen such devotion to a player as Colombian fans profess to James Rodriguez. When you ask them if he is ready to play for Real Madrid, they do not only say yes, they go a step forward.
“He is ready to be a starter for any team in the world,” they say. “This has been proven in the most prestigious tournament on the planet.” But if you suggest to those fans that it would not be easy to keep up with Madrid’s three star forwards – Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema – they go even further.
“He is already better than Cristiano and Messi at this time and is maybe the best player in the world,” they insist. Given such statements, I wonder myself why so few international football analysts had warned us of the threat James could pose to those teams facing Colombia at the World Cup.
The fact is that Colombians believe that his quality is based on leadership, quick thinking and remarkable vision around the opposition area when playing a final pass. A player with the perfect combination of skills to combine with the forwards ahead of him.
Real Madrid might be advised to take a look at a player with those characteristics. You do not need to push the Colombian fans too much to hear their clear opinion: “In Madrid, James could even outshine Cristiano.” It may sound like an exaggeration, but they are convinced and confident the time is right for the Monaco star to make the jump to the very top level of club football.