“Football-today.com”: Today we’ll tell you the story of one of the most popular athletes of the planet Earth — James Rodriguez. This athlete plays the constant role of a spare in soccer. In all senses James Rodriguez is a bird in the golden cage.
How did James Rodriguez find himself in Real Madrid?
No one dragged James to Real forcefully. Remember same story with Kaka. One more Latin American playmaker came, saw and did not win. Perhaps, we should immediately recall that Jorge Mendes leads the affairs of a talented Colombian player. Yes, the same Jorge Mendes, who manages the finances of Mourinho, Ronaldo, Di Maria, Diego Costa and Andre Gomes. Therefore, it is not surprising that Perez paid 75 million euro for the guy from Monaco in 2014.
As you remember, Rodriguez distinguished himself in Porto, before moving to France and the WC-14. After his third season in Portugal, he did not go to England or Spain, but moved to League 1. Remember, it’s where Radamel Falcao from Atlético also moved. At that time another Colombian was near to Real Madrid, but he chose a generous offer from Monte Carlo. These stories are parallel, but different, since Rodriguez does not have complex injuries, he is young and healthy.
It’s more to that, we must consider the fact that he’s celebrity. For instance, this guy has more subscribers in Instagram than LeBron James – the most popular basketball player of our generation. At the same time, let’s not forget, the US population is 320 million people, Colombia – 48 million. That is, we cannot say that LeBron has lower mathematical chances. Obviously, James Rodriguez enjoys wide recognition not only in Colombia. In the language of finance, grandees show interest in James Rodriguez also due to this fact that he is on such lists, conceding only to Ronaldo, Neymar and Messi.
No joke, even Pique’s son keeps a Real Madrid midfielder’s shirt. However, Shakira is Colombian, so it understandable.
James has phenomenal indicators
One of the reasons why Real appeared again in the Champions League final and is the favorite in the fight for the Spanish crown is the presence of a second wave in attack. Three of attackers — James, Isco and Asensio collected more than three dozen goals in all tournaments. We did not take Morata’s statistics into account and he’s also very useful. That allows Madrid Real to win without a traditional trio – Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo.
Zidane understands it does not make much sense to always keep Isco, Rodriguez and other players of such a high level on the bench. But, it is beneficial to him that such guys are in the competition. Even Vasquez distributes assists sometimes. It happens that injuries interfere, sometimes experienced players tire. And, if there is such a joker as James Rodriguez, you can always win an important match confidently, not relying strictly on the usual heroes of Real Madrid.
Please note that in the championship of Spain James lags behind Benzema in goal statistics by one point. He’s on a par with Ronaldo and Isco in assists, although they played more minutes. Rodriguez can create goals. He always could, even in Real. Another thing, we cannot compare the doubles in the gates of Granada, Deportivo with important matches when Rodriguez did not help Madrid Real that much or did not appear on the field.
His phenomenal figures are with a trick. In the current season, he helped with assist against Sporting in the Champions League. There would not be a draw against Villarreal without him. Also, there is a double at the gates of Sevilla on his account. But both in the playoffs of the Champions League and in El Clasico, his efforts were neither crucial nor victorious. However, he scored Barcelona recently. The guy is definitely too good for the bench in Real. In fact, James reminds us of Ozil. As you remember, the leadership and coaches thought that Mesut contributed too little. It seems that Rodriguez has the same diagnosis.
Does Colombian fit in Manchester United?
That will be discussed more thoroughly later in “Football-today”s blog. Actually, the midfielder’s choices are not very good. It’s true that many would like to see him in their ranks. We can point out the inhibiting factor —the price tag as too high. Juventus will need James only in case they sell Dybala. Perhaps, Juventus coach will want to put the star of Rodriguez level instead of Mandzukic. As you remember, the midfielder played successfully to the left of the center. Bavaria needs a young star on the left, but the Germans never overpay and James is not exactly cheap.
Going to the Inter or Milan is a dubious pleasure. In Serie A, only Juventus is a grandee by European standards now. Arsenal is not achievable at this price. Even if a vacancy presents itself and James himself wants to join his wife’s brother — Ospina. Manchester City does not need Rodriguez — there are enough players in the attack. Chelsea won’t insist on acquiring midfielder too. So what remains is Manchester United, because even PSG has enough people to form a group of attack.
Chances in Premier League
However, the version with the transfer to Manchester United does not combine well with Mata and Mkhitaryan. There also the news about Griezmann and Bale. Can Mourinho knock out so much money from selling newcomers to acquire several players from the tens of the most expensive in the history of football? At the same time, strict and demanding Jose can noticeably revitalize James’ career. And the success of Hazard in Chelsea and Sanchez in Arsenal prove that players of the same level as Rodriguez can conquer the Premier League.
Here we can add David Silva from Manchester City — another collector of goals and assists in England. Even if Rodriguez does not seem to be the main star in Madrid, his chances of success are higher in Premier League. It’s sad that another English club does not have enough money. Passage to there is definitely James’s salvation after the loss of Coutinho. We mean Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in case the bet on Royce could turn out to be a failure. However, Rodriguez cannot be taken at the price of Coutinho.
On the other hand, Manchester United can afford such player. Madrid is still hesitating to announce any transfer officially. Another question, why exactly James? After all, Griezmann loves freedom of action in the depths of the field. Also, Giggs advised the “Red Devils” to buy Sanchez who is more adapted to the Premier League. Let’s not forget Bale – another person everyone awaits in Mourinho’s team.
The strengths and weaknesses of James Rodriguez
- Youth and absence of complex injuries.
- Field Vision – his score assists are best in Real, except for Kroos.
- Accuracy of diagonal assists and aerial assists.
- The desire to fight for the ball — his tackles count is above Vasquez or Ronaldo.
- Well placed strike — Rodriguez can score “from nothing”.
- Attitude to training — Zidane publicly criticized James for his lack of work on training.
- Loss of stimuli – considering the minutes spent on field Rodriguez is only the eighteenth player of Madrid Real.
- Aerial tackle is very important for Premier League. And that’s something hard to fix.
- Surprisingly, it’s dribbling. James is not the most courageous player in this aspect in Real. Isco goes to successful dribbles almost three times more often. Perhaps that is why the Colombian is looking for a new team, and Francisco not?
Is Rodriguez an overvalued player?
Although Antonio Cassano included him, Pogba and Balotelli in the list of the three most overrated players in history, the Italian is mistaken. First, he spoke more about the price than about the skill, because these three are all talented. Real did pay 75 million euro for substitute midfielder, those who call Colombian overvalued do not understand the laws of the football market. The contract for James costs the same money today.
Rodriguez did not become the main part of the Zidane project. Isco turned out better. He along with Bale is in the list of masters of the highest level who can leave Madrid. But, we don’t doubt their class. Welshman is hampered by minor injuries and Ronaldo’s desire to be strictly the first. It’s due to his character that James did not meld with Zidane, although he gets along with Cristiano outside the field.
Final Thoughts on further fate of one of the most popular athletes
“Football-today.com”: Everything indicates a fast parting. Rodriguez plays the last season in Real Madrid. If another year is spent on the bench he can finally lose form. There are doubts about his endurance, but since the midfielder is only twenty-five years old, a happy ending is possible. With the right choice we can see James as the leader of the attacks and one of the heroes of his next big team.