James Rodriguez – Colombian Soccer Player

by Kristine Bigcas

James Rodriguez, or El Diez, is a Colombian professional football player for Real Madrid but is also on loan for Bayern Munich. He’s been playing professionally since 2006 when he was signed for Envigado. His playing position is an attacking midfielder or winger. Commonly admired for his playing style and technique on the field, James was given the honor to captain the Colombian national football team. He became one of the most expensive football players and the most expensive Colombian football player when he moved to Real Madrid from AS Monaco, with an 80-million Euro transfer fee.

He has won several trophies, recognition, and awards since his start in football. In fact, he won the Golden Boot, the award given to the top scorer of the FIFA World Cup, and was selected to be a part of the “Cup’s All Star Team.” Another achievement of his was his third-place medal for Copa America Centenario that was held in 2016.

Early Life and Family

James David Rodriguez Rubio was born on July 12, 1991, in Cucuta, Colombia. His name is actually pronounced as Ham-Ez. He grew up and was raised in a middle-class family in Ibague. Despite his nonstop football training, he was able to secure his education and finished engineering at the Universidad Nacional Abierta.

He is the only son of Wilson James Rodriguez Bedolla and Maria Del Pilar Rubio. His father used to be a football player for Cucuta and the Colombian national team but due to injuries, his career came to a stop. He also had drinking issues which also caused him from keeping his professional football venture going. His parents divorced after his father left them while he was young and his mother got married again, this time to his stepfather Juan Carlos Restrepo.

His father used to be a football player for Cucuta and the Colombian national team but due to injuries, his career came to a stop. He also had drinking issues which also caused him from keeping his professional football venture going. His parents divorced and his mother got married again, this time to his stepfather Juan Carlos Restrepo. He also played for the Tolima but did not continue and worked as an engineer instead.

James grew up with a severe stutter and had therapy through the years. He also had a burning passion for football at an early age which most likely roots from his father’s profession. He played Pony Futbol with Academia Tolimense as a teen. He was only five when he had his first training. Recalling how his love football started, James said: “I’d always liked football, but it was my stepdad who took me to the academy in

He was only five when he had his first training. Recalling how his love football started, James said: “I’d always liked football, but it was my stepdad who took me to the academy in Tolima when I was five – that’s how I started.” He was also given a black and white Adidas shoes by his stepfather.

Arley Rodriguez

His paternal uncle, Arley Rodriguez was also a footballer for Independent Medellin. On the day of his death, he was at the hospital after being almost robbed by a gang. After receiving treatment for the injuries they received during the fight against the gang, they were met again by thugs that shot him six times. He wasn’t the first football player who died during this era in Colombia. Arley died a year and a week after Andres Escobar died. During the time of death of his uncle, James was in Ibague playing for Academia Tolimense.

Marriage to Daniela and Daughter

James married at the young age of 18 years old. He tied the knot with Daniela Ospina in 2010 just a few months after he joined FC Proto. Although there are no clear reports on how they had met, it is said that it was her brother and his fellow national teammate David Ospina that has introduced them to each other in 2008. They were the typical friends who fell in love with each other. When he reached the age that was qualified for marriage, he then proposed to Daniela to which she gladly accepted. After a year of engagement, they had a private ceremony to seal their union.

Like James, Daniela is also from Colombia and plays for Madrid’s team. However, instead of soccer, she plays for the country’s volleyball team. Both she and James have decided to have the number ten as their jersey number.

Two years after their marriage, James and Daniela welcomed a new addition to their family. On May 29, 2013, Daniela gave birth to their daughter Salome Rodriguez Ospina. James is so fond of his daughter that he constantly shares pictures of him and his daughter on his Instagram account. Living together with his family is his pet dogs.

David Ospina

He is the older brother of Daniela and the brother-in-law of James. He is also a native of Colombia coming from its largest city, Medellin. He is the goalie of Arsenal and spent a good long period in France.

Football Career

Starting at a young age, James continuously surprised everyone with his discipline of training twice a day. He also had tutors on top of his club’s training sessions. According to his mother, he originally never wanted to become a footballer but his mother said: “he was a footballer from the day he was born.”

His first professional team was Envigado in 2006 before he transferred to Banfield in 2008 and Porto in 2010. During his move to Porto, he was given a 5.1 million Euro deal. He stayed with the team until his move to AS Monaco that was dubbed as the second most expensive transfer in Portuguese football. In his younger years, James played for Columbia U-17 team and has given the team an edge during the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup. As he got older, he then joined Columbia under-20.

James always said that playing for Real Madrid as his life dream and has always considered Cristiano Ronaldo as one of his idols. He signed a six-year contract with them later on July 22, 2014, for a rumored fee of approximately 80 million Euro. He was then loaned to the German team Bayern Munich on July 11, 2017, for a two-year deal. He played for multiple FIFA World Cup tournaments and was even selected to play the role of the captain of Colombia’s team in the Copa America Centenario.

Other Works

He also posed for different brand advertisements for Pony Malta, Milo, and Clear. But, his biggest stint was with Adidas. He first worked for the sports company during the early start of his career after being approached by Claus Peter Meyer, a scout, in South America. After the 2014 World Cup, he was given his own customized golden boot by Adidas as a form of reward and a promotion of the brand.

Recognition and Net Worth

He was the youngest player and scorer in the Argentine League in 2009. He was able to score six goals in Brazil and was dubbed as the best-ever Colombian World Cup scorer. Apart from big leagues and organizations, his personal basketball idol, LeBron James also congratulated him on Twitter for his performance in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

James was seen to be driving around in his Audi Q7 which has the value of $65,000. It was reported in 2015 by Forbes that his annual income reaches a total of $29 million thus his net worth of $30 million.