In July 2014, James Rodriguez touched down in Belo Horizonte as a 22 year-old making waves in Ligue 1 with Monaco. Three weeks later, James was one of the biggest names in world football, bound for Real Madrid for a $A115 million fee.
The turning point in the Colombian’s career came in Rio against Uruguay in the Round of 16, when James scored the goal of the tournament – a remarkable volley which booked Colombia’s place in the quarter finals.
James broke the internet with his wonder-goal and became an overnight sensation, dominating headlines around the world.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for James, struggled to cement himself as the main man at the Bernabeu, before spending the last two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich.
Real Madrid looks set to finally cash in on the Colombian after spending big on Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic this month, and what better shop front for suitors than Brazil - the same stage where James announced himself to the world in 2014.
Despite his struggles at club level, James relishes the international stage and has shown he’s immune to the pressure and weight of expectation that comes with a major international tournament in Brazil.
Colombia’s Copa America campaign kicks off with a blockbuster against Argentina on Sunday morning (AEST) and coach Carlos Queiroz needs his talisman to hit the ground running.
At 27, James still has his best years ahead of him and with the hopes of Colombia heavily on his shoulders, a piece of magic at Copa America could decide his next big move.