It would be wrong to say that James Rodriguez, a player who cost AS Monaco £38 million in last year’s summer transfer window, was not already known as a technically excellent playmaker with a good reputation before the World Cup started. However, as the tournament is developing, Rodriguez is starting to emerge with each game as more than just an excellent player among many other excellent players.
Rodriguez has clearly been the best player in Group C, and already lived up to the expectations that many had hoped he could reach in this tournament. More than that, though, he has been one of the best players of the entire tournament so far, and with ambitions of further heightening his reputation in the knockout stages.
What separates Rodriguez from other playmakers around the world is how well-rounded he is. Most playmakers are strictly that — a playmaker and nothing more. Rodriguez, however, brings more to the table than merely just his undeniable technique, vision and passing range.
He also brings an eye for goal, a clear appetite to compete and an obvious hunger to win. Rodriguez can be seen trying to win the ball back from the opposition as much as he can be seen exchanging passes with his teammates — as he crucially did for the winning goal against Ivory Coast. He is a team player, and he understands that he can contribute more on the pitch than just waiting to sprinkle his stardust every 10 or 15 minutes.
The World Cup is only just coming to the end of the group stages, and already Rodriguez has established himself as one of the best and most impressive performers of the tournament. The Colombian will most likely go on to increase his reputation further still from this point on, and as a result of his performances in Brazil, he will surely assert himself as one of the world’s best playmakers.