Wed, Jul 23, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Rodriguez goal voted World Cup’s best

AFP, MADRID

Colombia’s James Rodriguez’s spectacular volley against Uruguay was crowned the best goal of the FIFA World Cup on Monday as speculation mounted that he will soon be unveiled as Real Madrid’s latest big-money signing.

Spanish sports dailies Marca and As said Real have agreed to a deal worth between 75 million euros and 80 million euros (US$100 million and US$108 million) with the Colombia striker’s Ligue 1 club AS Monaco and he could be presented as a new signing by today.

The 23-year-old is waiting in Europe for a confirmation from Madrid, while his Monca teammates prepare for a preseason friendly in Miami, Florida, the reports said.

Rodriguez became the hot property of the World Cup with six goals that gave him the Golden Boot for the top scorer in the tournament.

In a FIFA.com poll, his volley against Uruguay in the final 16 was declared the goal of the tournament by more than 4 million voters — three-quarters of those who took part.

Robin van Persie’s diving header for the Netherlands against Spain in Group B came second.

For the poll-winning goal, Rodriguez collected a ball on the edge of the penalty area with his back to the Uruguay net. He chested the ball over his head, turned and fired the volley home after it hit the underside of the crossbar.

The goal established the global reputation of the young playmaker, who cost Monaco 45 million euros a year ago when he was signed from Porto.

Marca said Real will pay 75 million euros straight away and up to 5 million euros more in add-ons.

If confirmed, the fee would make Rodriguez the fourth-most expensive player in history behind Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo (both of Real) and Luis Suarez, who joined Barcelona this month.

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim denied any knowledge of a transfer when asked at a press conference in Colombia on Sunday about Rodriguez’s future.

Monaco, who have Rodriguez and fellow Colombia international Radamel Falcao on their books, played a friendly in the South American country before moving on to Miami.

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