Photo: James Rodriguez (RealMadrid.com)
For days, the football world watched with great anticipation as Real Madrid lined up a move for arguably the most influential player at the 2014 World Cup. Colombia's 23 year old playmaker James Rodriguez took the World Cup by storm and has landed in the Santiago Bernabeau in a dream move from Monaco to Madrid. He will finally get the opportunity to play alongside his hero Cristiano Ronaldo in a team loaded with international superstars.
The former Porto standout joins the likes of Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Iker Casillas and Marcelo in a new generation of Galacticos at Real Madrid. There are so many big egos and big personality in the dressing room but manager Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping that he can retain control and lead his team of wealthy young superstars to more glory, adding to their La Decima success last season.
Rodriguez will surely add more creativity and goals to Madrid. He is a player with an excellent football brain and a astonishing sense of awareness for a player just 23 years of age. He is referred to as the 'South American Cristiano Ronaldo' because he has good pace, excellent dribbling skills, quick feet and a very powerful left foot. He has an exceptional technique with the natural ability to get pass his opponents and has an eye for goal. He moved to Monaco last summer for €45M after three brilliant season with Porto and now a year later he has taken the biggest step in his career.
The Galacticos of Madrid was started under Florentino Perez 14 years ago when the club signed Luis Figo from Barcelona. He was joined by Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham in a 4 year span. They all cost quite a fortune but raised the profile of Madrid as they boasted players that attracted the world's attention. The players mentioned added to high profile names already at the Bernabeau such as Raul, Iker Casillas and Roberto Carlos.
The second era of Real Madrid's Galacticos was kicked off with the capture of Kaka from AC Milan in the summer of 2009. That same year Madrid secured players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso. The next summer, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Angel Di Maria came in under Jose Mourinho and a year later Fabio Coentrao was added. Luka Modric joined in 2012 while Isco, Asier Illarramendi and Gareth Bale were the ones added last summer. So far this summer, World Cup winner Toni Kroos has been added along with the Golden Boot winner for a large sum of money.
Now the expectations will be high as the Real Madrid fans look to see if their team can be the first to defend the Champions League trophy.