Colombia’s soccer starlet James Rodriguez caused quite a stir in Europe after his stunning game-winning strike for Porto in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old midfielder grabbed the only goal in a 1-0 victory for the Portuguese side against Paris Saint-Germain in European soccer’s most prestigious competition.
And what a goal it was. After a cross from the left the unmarked Rodriguez guided the ball into the bottom corner with a side-foot volley displaying pure precision and guile.
The reaction the morning after in Portugal was immense with one leading newspaper, “A Bola,” running the headline, “The Incredible James.”
The northern Cucuta-born Rodriguez is seen as the natural successor to former Brazilian striker Hulk, who was sold by Porto last season.
Another Portuguese newspaper referred to Rodriguez taking over the mantel at the club by saying he “did a Hulk” with the goal against PSG.
For Rodriguez however his new found stardom is not going to distract him from improving his own game which he says is still in its infancy.
“I realize that I’m still young and I have many things to learn, I think that the road is long and we have to keep playing the same way,” he told Liga Postobon.
“I can say that we are doing well and we got a good result which is very important,” said the Colombian.
Rodriguez was named on Thursday in a 25-man squad for Colombia’s upcoming World Cup qualifying fixture with Paraguay on October 12, a game he knows will be a testing encounter.
“We have to convince ourselves that we are good players. However we have to prove this once again when we face a great opponent such as Paraguay,” he added.