11 July 2014 12:27
Colombian great Carlos Valderrama believes compatriot James Rodriguez could play for any club in the world after his FIFA World Cup showing.
The Monaco man was one of the stars of the tournament in Brazil – inspiring Colombia to the quarter-finals of the competition with six goals in five games.
Since his impressive performances at the tournament, he has been linked with a move to La Liga giants Real Madrid.
Valderrama, who made more than 100 appearances for Colombia and enjoyed a stint in Spain with Real Valladolid, maintains any club in the world would be fortunate to have Rodriguez.
“I hope he goes to Spain. There’s not much I can add after the World Cup he has just played,” he told Marca.
“Whoever had any doubts has now seen what he can do. I never had any.
“Not even Real Madrid is too big for James. Look how he played this World Cup [at] just 22 years old, he has shown he can play for any club in the world.
“Great players cost a lot, and he’s a great player. He’s an eight or 10-year investment and the club that buys him won’t regret it, whoever buys him will get their money back.”
If he were to join Real, Rodriguez would form part of a star-studded forward line that includes Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema.
Valderrama insists the former Porto playmaker could feature in either the number 10 role or on the wing.
“Where he plays best is where he started out at – as a classic number 10,” he explained.
“But as the numbers 10s of old are now not so useful for most managers, I’d have him out on the wing; he’d be great there too.
“And if he plays alongside fast players, even better, because he has who to lay on the assists to. He moves around a lot and helps out the defence a great deal.
“He’s got a long time in him. He’s a great buy and will solve a lot of problems.”