Colombia’s star midfielder James Rodriguez was ranked as the best player in the World Cup so far by the latest official FIFA/Castrol Index, released Friday morning.
James, who currently plays for French side AS Monaco and sports the number 10, has had an outstanding World Cup showing, scoring three goals and two assists as well as being Colombia’s main play-maker along with Juan Guillermo Cuadrado.
James was ranked by the FIFA Castrol Index as the best player overall in the World Cup, rising from ninth spot in the last index, released four days ago.
The FIFA/Castrol index measures a player’s overall ability, including passing, assists, defending, and mistakes depending on the zone in which they take place, and how badly a mistake could cost the team.
The next two Colombians on the list were winger/left back Pablo Armero at 56th, and central defender Cristian Zapata at 58th.
James is a-ok, says USA Today
This latest quantitative ranking comes as the 22 year-old star continues to appear on “best player lists” of sports columnists around the world.
James was mentioned by USA Today as the fourth best player in the World Cup thus far, having superior play-making abilities as a member of one of the “most exciting teams so far in the tournament.”
The Colombian midfielder was mentioned alongside Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa (5th), Brazilian forward Neymar (3rd), Dutch winger Arjen Robben (2nd) and Argentine superstar forward Lionel Messi (1st).
Rodriguez was born on July 12, 1991 in Cucuta, Norte de Santander. With the exception of Falcao (out with an injury), Rodriguez is arguably the best known player on the team at the international level, seen as one of the rising stars on the world stage. Rodriguez has a strong presence on the pitch, playing as a winger and attacking midfielder, successful for both club and country.
Rodriguez is often referred to as the “new Pibe,” in reference to 1980s and 1990s Colombian star Carlos Valderrama.
The Colombian national team recently cruised through the group stage of the 2014 World Cup — its first appearance since 1998 — defeating Greece (3-0), Cote d’Ivoire (2-1) and Japan (4-1). James scored in each game.
Colombia advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time since 1990, and will face a Uruguay team sans Luis Suarez, who was suspended for biting an Italian player.