James Rodriguez will lead Colombian charge at Copa America

James Rodriguez and Marco Bielsa with Uruguay players
James Rodriguez and Marco Bielsa with Uruguay players (PC: James Rodriguez/X and Uruguay Football/X)

Swapnil Mukherjee

James Rodriguez is spearheading Colombia’s charge for their second Copa America title, and the 32-year-old playmaker is in scintillating form. With five assists in the tournament so far, he has equalled Lionel Messi’s record for most assists in a single edition.

Rodriguez’s masterclass performance in Colombia’s 5-0 quarter-final win over Panama showcased his exceptional skill and vision. He provided a pinpoint corner for the opener, scored an emphatic penalty, and then showcased his quick thinking to assist Colombia’s third goal.

The Colombian maestro has overcome a tumultuous journey to reach the top, struggling to replicate his Golden Boot-winning form at the 2014 World Cup during his stints at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. However, under coach Nestor Lorenzo, Colombia has emerged as a formidable force in South America, and Rodriguez has rediscovered his mojo.

Rodriguez’s stats in the tournament are impressive – 5 matches, 3 goals, 5 assists, 4.2 key passes per game, and an 87% pass completion rate — underscore his importance to the team. His career stats – 368 club appearances, 107 goals, 94 assists, 91 international caps, and 26 international goals – highlight his exceptional talent.

As Colombia continues their unbeaten run, 27 matches and counting, Rodriguez is determined to lead his team to glory. With his exceptional vision, skill, and leadership, can he inspire Colombia to their second Copa America title? The football world watches with bated breath as James Rodriguez writes his own history.

For Uruguay, much will depend on the performances of Manuel Ugarte and their captain, Federico Valverde. Coach Marcelo Bielsa aims to build on his recent success, having broken the Brazil curse for the first time in his Copa America managerial career in their last match. Additionally, Darwin Núñez will be eager to regain his goalscoring form as the tournament reaches a crescendo. These players must unite to thwart James Rodríguez and his motivated teammates from securing a spot in the final of this edition.

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Bond between Luiz Dias and James Rodriguez
Bond between Luiz Dias and James Rodriguez (PC: James Rodriguez/X)

Ahead of this significant clash, Colombia coach Nestor Lorenzo spoke to reporters about James Rodríguez, stating, “He is a great player, nothing to explain. He is a player who is happy on the pitch.” When James was asked about his goal of becoming the best player of this Copa America edition, he replied, “Did I want to be the best player of the Copa? Yes, I wanted to have a very good Cup, help my teammates to go far. We are going until the last day; let’s hope we can reach that great final that we all want. We are going through a good moment too.”

Possible Playing XIs


Rochet; Varela, Gimenez, Olivera, Vina; Valverde, Ugarte; Pellistri, De la Cruz, Araujo; Nunez

Uruguay’s impressive defense has been a highlight of the Copa America, but with Araujo injured and Nandez suspended, their chances against Colombia’s potent offense are dwindling.


Vargas; Munoz, Sanchez, Cuesta, Mojica; Rios, Lerma; J. Arias, Rodriguez, Diaz; Cordoba

While Bielsa’s team will undoubtedly put up a fierce fight, it’s hard to envision a scenario where Colombia, inspired by James Rodriguez, doesn’t secure a spot in the final against Argentina or Canada, leaving Uruguay to contend for third place.


Colombia to win 2-1 and qualify for the final.

Uruguay in Copa America 2024
Uruguay in Copa America 2024 (PC: Uruguay Football/X)


Overall – 45 matches – Uruguay 20, Colombo 14, draws 11

In the last 5 matches – Colombia 1, Uruguay 1, draws 3

In Copa America – 12 matches – Uruguay 6, Colombo 5, draws 1

In Copa America 2021, both these teams met in the quarter-final. After the regulation time of 90 minutes, it was 0-0. In the penalty shootout, Colombia won 4-2 and knocked out the La Celeste.

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