Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Colombia’s World Cup revelation James Rodriguez was unveiled as Real Madrid’s latest headline signing in front of tens of thousands of fans at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.
Rodriguez, the top scorer at the World Cup in Brazil, has moved to the European champions from Monaco on a six-season contract.
Spanish media said Real paid about €80 million ($108m) for the 23-year-old playmaker, which if correct would make him the fifth most expensive player in history after Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
“It’s a lot of pressure to be here but I’m ready to take it on,” said Colombia’s poster boy, looking relaxed and smiling and sporting Real’s number 10 shirt – last worn by Mesut Ozil.
“My goal here is to always win, I don’t like losing,” he added.”I’m thrilled to be here, it’s a dream come true, I hope to give a lot of pleasure,” he told a huge crowd estimated at about 40,000, including a significant number of Colombians.
“I think Colombia will now be a fan of this great club,” he added.
Neither club confirmed the size of the transfer, but Monaco described it as “one of the biggest transfers in football history”.
Spanish sports daily Marca, which has close ties with Real Madrid’s board, said Real will pay €75 million straight away and up to five million more in add ons.
Monaco paid €45 million ($60m) when he signed from FC Porto of Portugal.
Monaco said in a statement that it had not wanted to sell Rodriguez but that it was “proud to have carried out one of the biggest transfers in football history”.