David Beckham is the latest figure to praise Colombia’s World Cup star James Rodriguez, hailing him as this summer’s standout performer.
With six goals in five games, the 22-year-old playmaker lit up the tournament during his side’s run to the quarter-finals, before ultimately coming unstuck against a physical Brazil side, and Beckham believes there’s no doubt he has a bright future ahead of him.
‘His goal [against Uruguay] for me was one of the best goals of the tournament, not just for the way he finished it but also for his movement,’ he told The Dugout. ‘As a young player, you could see how talented he is just by the way he moved into the ball, turned and struck it'.
'I’d heard about him quite a few times obviously while I was living and playing in Paris and people told me he was a great talent,’ he added. ‘But playing on the world stage like he is, at his age, shows just how talented he really is. He’s got a real bright future ahead of him.
His displays in recent weeks inviting rumours of interest from Beckham’s former club, Real Madrid, the 39-year-old also offered some advice to the Monaco star, in light of his rising profile.
‘I’m sure he doesn’t need me to give him advice but obviously what I always say to any player, whether old or young, is just enjoy the game,’ he stressed.
‘It goes by so quickly and it’s not until you’re finished playing that you think those 22 years went by far too fast. As I said before though, he’s such a talented player and a good-looking kid as well, so he’s got the whole package.’
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 Paris Saint-Germain.
Widely tipped to win the Golden Ball award for the World Cup’s best player, if rumours are to be believed, then the well-travelled youngster could be set to take another big step-up in his club career this summer.