One of Colombia’s rising young talents, James Rodriguez has already cemented his place in the Colombian national squad having played his part in a Europa League title-winning Porto side between 2010-13. His early career success suggests he could prove rewarding to follow at the World Cup where the best betting options lie in goalscorer and assist markets.
His playmaking abilities have drawn comparisons to Colombian legend icon Carlos Valderrama and, at just 20, Rodriguez won the LPFP Award for Breakthrough Player of 2011–12 Primeira Liga, also becoming the second Portuguese Golden Ball award winner in 2012 after team-mate Radamel Falcao.
The 22-year-old started his professional career in 2006 for Colombian second division club Envigado FC, before being signed by Argentine team Club Atlético Banfield in 2008.
In 2008 he was signed by Argentine team Club Atlético Banfield In 2009 he became a regular first team player featuring in every game of the Apertura 2009, scoring eight goals from 42 starts before a move to Porto in 2010 for €5.1 million
During his time at Porto, Rodriguez was also part of the UEFA Europa League triumph in 2010–11 that featured team-mates such as Falcao and Hulk, as wel as a trio of Primeira Liga titles between 2010–13. More success features on Rodriguez's Porto CV, including the Taça de Portugal and a hat-trick of Portuguese Supercup crowns from 2010 to 2012.
Rodriguez will reform his attacking partnership with Falcao at the 2014 World Cup this summer having scored a total of eight goals and eight assists from his 33 appearances in the Colombian squad at International level.
Rodriguez played a huge role in Colombia’s 2014 World Cup Qualifying bid with three goals in 15 appearances, assisting two goals to beat 2010 semi-finalists Uruguay 4-0 and then producing a stunning 30-yard free kick against Chile helped his side to an eventual 3-1 victory. He recovered from injury to score the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Ecuador, before Colombia qualified for the 2014 World Cup via a 3-3 draw against Chile after winning a pair of penalties.
James Rodriguez World Cup Betting Tips
Rodriguez offers strong value for money to be on the score sheet anytime during Colombia's World Cup campaign in individual match markets as well as on assists or for man of the match. While Colombia are capable of winning the group, it’s unlikely they can progress far enough for the youngster to figure as top scorer of the tournament or player of the tournament.
After scoring both goals against Uruguay to help steer Colombia into the quarter finals, Rodriguez is long odds-on to be his nation's top scorer - 1/100 from the 8/1 advised pre-tournament. James has emerged as a strong contender World Cup top scorer after taking his tally to 5 goals, one ahead of Brazil's Neymar at the same stage of the tournament. Advised at 33/1 at the conclusion of the group stage, Rodriguez now leads by two with six goals after scoring in Colombia's valiant 2-1 defeat to Brazil in the quarter-finals.