Real Madrid sign the Golden Boot, James Rodriguez


MADRID — Real Madrid on Tuesday signed Colombian striker James Rodriguez, the top scorer at the World Cup, from Monaco on a six-season contract. Spanish media said Real paid about 80 million euros (US$108 million) for Rodriguez, making him one of the most expensive players ever. Neither club gave a figure, but Monaco said it was “one of the biggest transfers in football history.” Rodriguez, 23, scored six goals for Colombia at the World Cup to win the Golden Boot award. A spectacular volley against Uruguay went down as one of the best goals of any World Cup. “The dream already is REAL. Happy to be part of the best club in the world,” he wrote in a Twitter message after the deal was announced. The Colombian striker is Real’s second major signing in five days as they prepare for a new season of confrontation against eternal rivals Barcelona’. German midfielder Toni Kroos moved from Bayern Munich on Thursday, just days after the 24-year-old helped Germany win the World Cup. Real have also been linked with a move for Keylor Navas, the goalkeeper whose heroics helped Costa Rica reach the World Cup quarterfinals. Navas plays with Levante in the Spanish first division. Rodriguez had only been at Monaco for one year but his sizzling performance at the World Cup made him the number one target for many European clubs. In a poll released Monday, his volley against Uruguay in the last 16 was declared goal of the World Cup by more than four million voters — three quarters of those who took part. Monaco paid 45 million euros (US$60 million) 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.”

A New ‘special’ One Spanish sports daily Marca, which has close ties with Real Madrid’s board, said Real will pay 75 million euros straight away and up to five million more in add ons. If confirmed, the fee would make Rodriguez the fifth most expensive player in history behind Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo (both of Real) and Neymar and Luis Suarez of Barcelona. The Colombian has made it clear for a long time that it was the Spanish league that he wanted to get to. “The Spanish league is a league that I’ve always watched — it’s different from the English League, which is very physical,” he told in an interview in November. “The game in Spain is more about technique, and about getting more touches on the ball. That’s why I like it so much.”