Thierry Henry lauds Colombia star James Rodriguez

Colombia Lineup

Former Manchester United target James Rodriguez impressed legendary Arsenal and Barcelona striker Henry at the World Cup for Colombia.

Colombia attack-minded midfielder James Rodriguez, 22, is arguably the player of the World Cup tournament in the matches to date as he now has two out of two man-of-the-match balls.

During the South American's 3-0 and 2-1 respective victories over Greece and Cote d'Ivoire, Rodriguez has been instrumental and the significance of his play has not been lost on BBC pundit Thierry Henry.

"He's a good player," said Henry, who believes he has stepped-up immeasurably to fill the void vacated by golden boy striker Radamel Falcao, who was omitted from the squad due to injury.

"What I like is that, obviously Falcao was the focal point but now, Rodriguez has responded and this is his team and he is delivering."

  NationOpponentTouchPass AccTotal PassCross AccChance CreatedAssistShotGoalMin
Rodríguez Colombia Greece 90 87.0% 54 75.0% 1 0 6 1 90
Rodríguez Colombia Cote d'Ivoire 68 69.4% 49 N/a 1 0 2 1 90

Against the Greeks, Rodriguez provided the main create outlet, ran at and challenged the opposition defenders who were powerless against him. His influence on the match is underlined by his 90 touches on the football - an average of one every game minute, with an 87% passing accuracy, 75% crossing accuracy, one chance created and six shots.

Versus the Ivory Coast, he was denied as many touches on the football but still provided a timely and important header to open Colombia's goal-scoring account.

A former transfer target for both Liverpool (Liverpool Echo) and Manchester United (The Express), if Rodriguez continues to excel and is they key man in an aesthetically-pleasing and entertaining Colombia team, then both Premier League sides could be tempted in reigniting their interest in the £30 million-rated playmaker.

Rodriguez is contractually-bound to AS Monaco until 2018 having transferred to the Ligue 1 heavyweights last summer after a £40 million switch from FC Porto.

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