Up and coming soccer star James Rodriguez hit the headlines during the 2014 world cup where he scored six goals and secured himself the privileged accolade of the “golden boot.” Now playing for Real Madrid and owning the title of the fourth most expensive footballer in history, James, or Ham-ez as it is correctly pronounced, still has many other interesting attributes. Here are nine things that you didn’t know about James Rodriguez.
Number Nine: James Rodriguez Suffered From A Terrible Stutter When He Was A Child
As a youngster James had a heavy speech impediment, resulting in him having to go to a speech therapist on weekly occasions. Still affecting him today, shy guy Rodriguez often struggles in interviews due to lack of confidence and shame directed towards his stutter.
Number Eight: He’s Taken
Sorry guys! James is happily married and even has a child with his Colombian national teammate David Ospina’s sister. Often seen kissing the tattoo of his daughter upon scoring in a match, Rodriguez is ever the family man.
Number Seven: He’s Smart
Although earning a good wage playing football, James still believes his education is important. Currently enrolled in an online engineering course at the Universidad Nacional Abierta, James breaks the “stupid” soccer player stereotype that so often persists.
Number Six: He Has His Own Energy Drink
Beloved in his native country of Colombia, the boy can do no wrong even having his own line of products. Named 10 Gold to represent his jersey number, all the profits are donated to his personal charity foundation that helps underprivileged children in Colombia. What a guy!
Number Five: He Is The Youngest Ever Player To Win The ‘Portuguese Golden Ball’ Award
During his first season in Portugal, James scored an almighty six goals and eight assists playing a huge role in their eventual Europa league victory. However, Rodriguez wasn’t finished and went on to score even more goals and assists, eventually nabbing the LPFP award for Breakthrough player in 2011-2012 and the Portuguese Golden Ball accolade, becoming the second Colombian and youngest ever winner to do so.
Number Four: He’s Expensive
As mentioned before James is the fourth most expensive player in footballing history reportedly costing a whopping $108 million dollars from AS Monaco to Real Madrid in 2014. Personally a huge fan of the club, Rodriguez has gone on to score many goals and contribute to their numerous campaigns.
Number Three: It’s Not Just One World Cup That He Excelled In
In the 2011 under-20 FIFA World Cup, James lead the Colombian team to the Quarter Finals after being selected to wear the captain’s armband. During the tournament, he scored three goals and provided three assists contributing to his place in the Colombian senior squad four years later.
Number Two: His Name Generates A Lot Of Attention
James David Rodriquez Rubio otherwise known as just plain old James was named after 007 woman magnet James Bond. Questioned constantly over the pronunciation of his first name (Ham-ez), Rodriguez was nicknamed the “James Bond of Banfield” when playing for the Argentinian side of the same name.
Number One: He Is Linked To A Famous Drug Lord
Gustavo Adolfo Upegui was a football scout and president of the soccer academy Envigado. However, he was also a known associate of notorious drug dealer Pablo Escobar and had been jailed 21 times. Upon spotting Rodriguez in action, Upegui was impressed and persuaded him to leave his current academy and join his own, as they say, the rest is history.