World acclaims unknown €45m forward from small nation of 47m people

Football has a new superstar, writes John Foster, following a string of explosive performances by the unheralded James Rodriguez from the little-known South American nation of Colombia...

Colombia, a country that has previously produced no memorable footballers, finds itself in the World Cup quarter-finals despite having no Premier League players in their squad. They are there thanks to a 2-0 victory over Uruguay, with both goals scored by the mysterious Rodriguez, a player so obscure he has been forced to eke out a career in the sleepy backwater of Monaco.

Journalist Mike Ashworth said: “This is clearly the greatest achievement in the history of Colombian football, if you discount winning the Copa America in 2001, which, like everybody else in Britain, I do. In tribute to their success I have decided to mention something other than Shakira and cocaine when I profile the country, and to stop spelling it ‘Columbia’.

Meanwhile, questions have been asked about whether Rodriguez is due a big-money move to a major European league, having been picked up by the Monte Carlo also-rans for a paltry €45 million.
 
“He was playing for a nothing club like Porto for three seasons, so you can understand why most people in this country have never heard of him,” Ashworth continued.
 
“Plus he only won nine trophies in that time, and never once did it on a wet Wednesday night in Stoke, so it’s only natural that nobody knew what to expect of him.”
 
He added that should Rodriguez move to the Premier League, he may finally learn how to pronounce his first name properly.
 
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