Adidas’ head of scouting Claus-Peter Mayer believes playmaker James Rodriguez possesses limitless potential, following the Colombian’s dazzling World Cup performances.
With five goals in four games, the 22-year-old has lit up the tournament on the way to leading Colombia to the quarter-finals, and Mayer states that there’s no ceiling to what this summer’s star man can achieve.
‘He’s not only showing very good performances in individual games but is doing it fairly consistently,’ Mayer said. ‘Combined with the good atmosphere in the Colombian team, and the fact he has had to take on a leadership role after Falcao dropped out, we’re not surprised that he’s really shinning.'
‘It’s not only his goals though, as he’s also an assist-deliverer,’ he added. ‘He can play in the playmaker role but also on the wing, or go into the centre and really score goals. What makes him really special is his ability to do many things at a very, very high level.'
‘I think he can go very far. He’s now 22 so we will have to see how his career develops and what decisions he makes, most likely about where he wants to play.'
‘Obviously we would like to see him at one of the biggest clubs at some point and we’re very convinced he can play a key role there. If that all comes together and he stays healthy then there’s no ceiling for what he can achieve.’
Signing for Porto from Argentine outfit Banfield in July 2010, Rodriguez enjoyed three title-winning seasons in Portugal before moving to big-spenders Monaco last summer for €45 million, finishing his debut campaign with a ligue 1-leading 12 assists to guide the side to a second place finish behind PSG.
His displays in recent weeks inviting rumours of interest from Real Madrid, the youngster has ensured the absence of club teammate and prolific scorer Falcao has not been as significant for Colombia as many anticipated, proving the side’s talisman in topping Group C with three wins, while going on to dispatch Uruguay in the last 16 with relative ease.
The Monaco man is not the only positive in the lineup, however, with impressive outings from the likes of winger Juan Cuadrado, defensive midfielder Carlos Sanchez and goalkeeper David Ospina leading some to wonder whether Jose Pekerman’s side could be set to cause an upset over favourites Brazil in Friday’s hotly-anticipated quarter-final.
Playing in their first World Cup since 1998, Colombia are arguably the tournament’s form side at this point and, should the host nation fall before the final hurdle, nobody would be surprised if Rodriguez were the one to deliver the fatal blow and break the hearts of millions of expectant home fans in the process.