Is James Rodríguez “too good for Real Madrid”?

FFT's Spanish expert, Tim Stannard, discovers why the young Colombian's move to the Bernabeu hasn't been greeted with joy everywhere...

Every since a toga-clad, wine goblet-sporting Florentino Pérez first clapped eyes on James Rodríguez, which was probably about two weeks ago unless the Colombian popped up in a presidential sticker album, the Real Madrid big cheese has had puppy dog eyes for his latest prize. 
For days now, the forward’s signing has only been a matter of... days. And then it became a matter of hours. Indeed, both AS and Marca spent Sunday and Monday announcing on their respective websites that all that was left for James to be a Madrid player was a signature. And a contract. And annoying stuff like that.
What really got the Spanish media going, though, was when the World Cup Golden Boot winner turned up at Madrid's airport on Sunday. It was a bit of a false alarm: James was in transit to France from Medellin. 
Nevertheless, everything was back on again as he popped up in Madrid the next day to reportedly pen the deal that would send him to the house of his dreams at the Santiago Bernabéu. At the time of writing, somewhere near 2am in sticky Spain (when most have their dinner), there was still nothing announced, leaving Marca & Co. drastically rewriting Tuesday’s editions with an awful lot of future perfect, conditional tenses.
It was finally confirmed on Tuesday at around 2pm Spanish time, to the tune of a six-year (six!) contract and "undisclosed" transfer fee. Boo. 

"It's always been my dream to play for Mon- oh, hang on"

So what does the arrival of only Mordor's third Colombian mean to Real Madrid, and the world in general? Clearly, for the Champions League winners it is no bad thing. James could fill a nice No.10 hole behind Karim Benzema, and provide a little bit of squad cover for Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. More importantly for Madrid, though, is that a heck of a lot of shirts are going to be shifted – certainly more than those with Isco’s name on it. 

It's the former Málaga man who is expected to be prime loser here, which is a bit of a shame as it had looked like Madrid were inching towards a give-Spanish-youth-a-chance philosophy built around him, Alvaro Morata and Jesé up front. However, Morata has already gone to Juventus to look for first-team football, and it only seems a matter of time before Isco gets the hump too.
The other question is whether the transfer is a good one for James himself. The Colombian certainly seems to think so, with the attacker having made it quite clear that playing clad in the white of Madrid has always been his aim, which wipes out the traditional “have you always dreamed of playing for Real Madrid?” question posed by journalists whenever anyone comes to the club. 
However, LLL has probed a few Colombians with whom it is acquainted, and the response to the big transfer was more lukewarm. Indeed, one comment was that James was “too good for Real Madrid”. But rather than meaning the player is superior to Ronaldo & Co., the feeling is that James deserves to be the leader in a side like Manchester United, rather than being a cog in a bigger wheel. 
That may be the case, but anything must be better than playing in the sterile ambiance of Monaco’s home, where the only realistic ambition is to come second behind PSG. James will certainly have a blast in his first three months at the Santiago Bernabéu. Let’s see if the good times last after that. 



This kid's the real deal and I'm glad to have been able to follow his magic live at the World Cup I'm sure he'll be leading Real Madrid in the years to come as convincing as he was leading Colombia to victory during the Brazilian tournament- here scoring the opener in front of 50 000 Colombians vs Ivory Coast - El pibe nuevo can use his head too and he does it quite good -

Ukraine claims its artillery Coach Outletdestroyed much of a military convoy that crossed from Russia into Ukraine this week -- an incursion that two British newspapers say they witnessed.Coach Outlet OnlineIf true, Ukraine's account and the British reports appear to give credence to what Kiev has long alleged -- that Russia has been sending troops and arms into easternUkraine,Coach Factory Outlet where pro-Russian rebels have battled the Ukrainian military for months.Coach Outlet OnlineA diplomatic row was brewing Friday over the reports, with the United Kingdom's foreign office summoning Russia's ambassador in London to explain the incident.Coach Outlet Store OnlineRussia's foreign ministry has denied any such incursion,Coach Outlet Store Online and its foreign minister will meet in Berlin with his counterparts from Ukraine, Germany and France on Sunday,Coach Factory Outlet state-run news agency RIA-Novosti reported. The meeting's agenda wasn't immediately released.Meanwhile,Coach Factory Outlet a separate Russian convoy -- more than 200 trucks that Moscow says contain relief goods for civilians in war-torn eastern Ukraine -- remained parked on the Russian side of the border, Coach Outletwaiting for Ukrainian and other inspectors to decide whether to approve the aid's entry.Coach Handbags OutletThat Ukraine so far has blocked the aid reflects Kiev's concerns -- held even beforeThursday's reported military incursion -- that Russia might try to smuggle more military supplies.Ukraine:Coach Outlet Majority of vehicles destroyedThose concerns took on a new light when British media outlets The Guardian and The Telegraph reported that armored personnel carriers, Coach Outletalong with other vehicles with Russian military plates, crossed the border near Donetsk, Chanel Outlet OnlineUkraine, on Thursday night.The Guardian reported that it witnessed 23 armored personnel carriers,Louis Vuitton in addition to other vehicles with Russian military plates, cross into Ukraine through a gap in a barbed wire fence. "Louis Vuitton OutletArmed men were visible in the gloom by the border fence as the column moved into Ukraine,"Gucci Belts the Guardian report reads.This is the first time foreign media recorded such an incursion,Gucci Belt though it illustrates what Kiev has said has been happening for months -- that Russia has been sendingLouis Vuitton Outlet troops and equipment to help the rebels -- Ukrainian military Col.Coach Outlet Online Andriy Lysenko told reporters.Ukrainian President Petro PoroshenkoOakley Sunglasses
told British Prime Minister David Cameron thatUkrainian forces destroyed "the majority" of the Russian vehicles, Poroshenko's office said.Poroshenko "Coach Factory Outletexpressed concern over the situation on the border, particularly over the fact that the inflow of Russian Oakley Sunglasses Outletarms and military machines in Ukraine through the open part of the border continued,"Coach Outlet Online his office said.Lysenko said he didn't know exactly how many vehicles crossed the border,Coach Outlet or how many Ukraine's artillery managed to destroy.Louis Vuitton OutletPurported humanitarian convoy still in RussiaBack in southern Russia, Coach Outlet Store Onlineacross the border fromUkraine's Luhansk region,Coach Outlet Store 59 Ukrainian border guards and customs officers were inspecting the scores of trucks thatCheap Oakley Sunglasses Moscow says contain aid for civilians affected by fighting,Coach Outlet Store Online the Ukrainian military said.Despite Ukraine's suspicions, Lysenko said that the aid is needed and that Ukraine would allow Oakley Sunglasses Outletthe Red Cross to distribute it if Ukraine and the aid group find the material suitable.Coach Factory OnlineMonths of fighting has killed hundreds of people and,Coach Outlet aid groups say, left thousands in eastern Ukraine without access to water,Louis Vuitton Outlet Online electricity and proper medical aid.Coach Factory OutletThe Red Cross is trying to establish whatOakley Sunglasses exactly is in the trucks, Andre Loersch,Coach Factory Outlet a Red Cross spokesman in Kiev, said.The Red Cross "will temporarily deploy additional personnelOakley Sunglasses Outlet to Ukraine and Russia for the purpose of this operation and is already in the process of identifying its staff ready for deployment,"Coach OutletLoersch said. "Chanel Outlet OnlineA four-member team is already present today in the vicinity of the convoy,Louis Vuitton Outlet and more staff are on their way."Moscow says the trucks contain grain,Louis Vuitton Handbags sugar, baby food, medical supplies and sleeping bags.Ukraine, Gucci Beltmeanwhile, says it is distributing its own aid through the Red Cross.Gucci BeltsThe Kiev-recognized governor of Luhansk, Irina Verigina,Louis Vuitton Outlet Online said this week that she doesn't want aid from Russia."Oakley Sunglasses OutletThey send us tanks and Grads (rocket-launching vehicles) overnight and offer to send humanitarian aid by day,"Oakley Sunglasses
Oakley Sunglasses she said.