In football we always hear about the next big things, the players who are different from the rest, the players who are capable of doing something really special. James Rodriguez is one such player.
Rodriguez was born on July, 12 1991 in Cucuta, Colombia. He is named James because of his parents love of the James Bond films, interestingly. He started his professional career in his early teens for the club Envigado Futbol Club in 2006.
A pacy left footer (though he is adept on his right as well) capable of playing as a winger, centre forward, striker and attacking midfielder, Rodriguez had all the South American clubs queuing up for his signature.
Club Atletico Banfield won the race and signed him in 2008. He made his debut on February, 7 2009, and scored his first goal for the club on February 27, through a long-range strike versus Rosario Central.
In 2009 he became a regular first-team player, featuring in every game of the Apertura. His second goal for Banfield came when he scored with a strike into the top corner from outside of the area in an important 2-1 against Newell's Old Boys, a win which helped Banfield win the Argentine championship for the first time in the history of the club.
For the Clausura, James scored a golazo in the match against arch rivals Lanús with a left-footed lob to make the game 2-0 in the final minutes. After the game, daily sports website Diario Olé likened his playing and personal style to Cristiano Ronaldo and also nicknamed him the "James Bond of Banfield."
James added to his glowing reputation with a goal in the Copa Libertadores group game. In a demolition of Deportivo Cuenca away from home, Rodriguez scored the fourth goal of the game with a nice cool finish in the area on his left foot. Banfield thrashed them 4-1.
His wonderful scoring season continued with a brace in the Copa Libertadores group game, in an away match with Uruguayan giants Club Nacional de Football, James scored once with a diving header and again from the penalty spot on his right foot in the game which ended 2-2.
The 18-year-old netted another goal on April, 29 2010, in the second round match of Copa Libertadores 2010 in the first match versus Brazilian giants Internacional, which Banfield won 3-1, bringing his tally to five goals in seven games. But the international season ended in defeat as his team went down on away goals, losing 2-0 in Porto Alegre in a game which Rodriguez was also red-carded for two fouls.
On July, 6 2010, he was signed by FC Porto for €5.1 million, with 30 percent registration rights retained by other parties. He signed a four-year contract with a €30M release clause. On July 18 he played his first game and scored his first goal in a friendly against Ajax.
On 15 December 2010, James scored his first goal in European Football in a 3-1 home victory for Porto against CSKA Sofia.
In 2007 he was part of the Colombia U-17 teams that finished runners-up in the South American Under-17 championships.
For all those fans of FIFA 11, buy this lad. Costs between 5-10 million Euro and is brilliant. Single-handedly won me the treble whilst at Valencia. Buy him.
James "Bond" Rodriguez is a rising star of world football, and definitely one to watch. Keep a watchful eye over the next two seasons, and you may just see this young star blossom.
This article was first seen on my blog, Xavi's Through Balls: http://xavisthroughballs.blogspot.com/
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