In a recent interview with Bild, Colombia legend and former Bayern Munich player Adolfo Valencia — nicknamed “El Tren” for his massive physique — lauded James’s performance against Poland and said that he believes Bayern is the perfect club where James can leave a lasting legacy. The fact that James made such an impact in Colombia’s match against Poland, Valencia revealed, was especially emotional in Colombia, since it was also Father’s Day there:
He played outstandingly against Poland! The wonderful thing was that the same day was Father’s Day in Colombia. With the victory of our national team, we had twice the reason to celebrate.
As the only other prominent Colombian to have played for Bayern Munich, El Tren truly feels that James’s success with the club could inspire more of their compatriots to play in the Bundesliga, and perhaps even at Bayern.
James and Valencia are part of a short list of Colombian players that have played in the Bundesliga. The most prominent of them is arguably Borussia Dortmund’s Adrian Ramos, who is the highest-scoring Colombian in Bundesliga history. As for James himself, he experienced an incredible resurgence under Jupp Heynckes, scoring 8 goals and providing 14 assists across all competitions in his debut season. He has quickly become a fan favorite in Bavaria, and Valencia recognizes how influential he can be to future Colombian prospects:
As a Colombia, I’d always want James to play well. I always want my countrymen to look good. I want him to leave a legacy behind at Bayern, so that other Colombian players can come to Germany.
James Rodriguez has played an integral part in Colombia’s advancement to the round of 16 at the World Cup, especially with his two assists in their 3-0 win over Poland. Unfortunately, he was subbed off with a calf injury in the first half of Colombia’s 1-0 win over Senegal, but he may still be available for the knockout stages. Colombia face England next.
Take another look at James’s mind-blowing assists against Poland: