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James Rodriguez Keys a Real Madrid Victory

Don't Call it Soccer

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Here it is, at long last the first column 100% dedicated to futbol on First & Ten Sports. I am “El Leon” and I’ve been playing “the beautiful game” for most of my life. My goal (pun intended) is to become your go-to resource for the latest news about the most popular sport on Earth. If you don’t believe futbol is the most popular sport in the world, travel to the most remote villages around the globe and see what game is being played. We begin in España where Real Madrid faced Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Champions League play. The play of Colombian attacking midfielder James Rodriguez keyed a Real Madrid victory over Lisbon.

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A New Hero

The matchup seemed like an easy bet, Real Madrid would surely win. The only question would be who would be the hero of the game. The obvious answer is Cristiano Rodriguez (CR7,) Mr. “I’ve Never Met a Mirror I Didn’t Like.” But NOT THIS TIME BUDDY! The game’s hero was Colombian midfielder, James Rodriguez. His name is pronounced HAM-ES for those of you who still haven’t caught on. I know what you are saying, Leon, you are Colombian and biased, but this is not the case.

This seemed like an easy bet, Real for the win. The only question was who was going to be the hero. On a super team of this caliber, the obvious answer is Cristiano Rodriguez (CR7,) Mr. “I’ve Never Met a Mirror I Didn’t Like.” But let me be the first to say NOT THIS TIME BUDDY! The hero was Colombian wonder kid James Rodriguez. It’s pronounced HAM-ES for those of you who still haven’t caught on. You may be saying, Leon, you are Colombian and biased. This was not the case.

Match Recap

Real’s late winning goal was full of irony. First, we have James, the $90 million-dollar wunderkind, who was seeing less game time than Michael Jordan on the ‘94 White Sox. ‘Mi llave’ was inserted into the match at minute 77, influences the foul leading to Ronaldo’s amazing free-kick goal, and most importantly puts in the  93rd minute perfectly timed cross to Alvaro Morata to win the game. For less than 20 minutes on the pitch, not too shabby.

Then there is the second irony of the game, Morata. The Spanish striker has played through the ranks of the Madrid youth teams and before he could buy a Lambo, was loaned out to Juventus. Not to be outsmarted, Real left a clause in his contract stating that after two years the team had the option to buy him back. What happens when the kid comes back to the team that shunned him? That’s right…he scores the winning header from a James Rodriguez cross that stamped his name in the record books. The rich get richer and Madrid keeps winning.

How much James Rodriguez impacts the play of Real Madrid going forward will be a storyline to watch all season. Ole, Ole, Ole–I love this sport! Next week, we’ll talk about the Jurgen “Klopp effect,” Liverpool’s new manager.

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