Rodriguez revels in 'dream' move
11:03pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014 in © Press Association 2014
James Rodriguez is determined to make history at Real Madrid rather than crumble under the pressure of becoming the fourth most expensive player of all time.
The 23-year-old World Cup Golden Boot winner on Tuesday morning signed a six-year contract with the European champions, with Monaco receiving a reported 80 million euro (£63million) fee in exchange.
If that figure is correct then Rodriguez trails only Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo - both his new team-mates at Real - and Barcelona's Luis Suarez on the list of football's most expensive transfers.
The Colombian attacking midfielder is not fazed by or interested in figures, however, and simply wants to work alongside Bale and Ronaldo in the pursuit of further glory following Madrid's recent Champions League triumph.
He told a press conference: "The numbers mean nothing to me. I just want to help make history and bring joy to the Madrid fans.
"This is a club which is used to winning and I'm prepared mentally and physically to do so. It is a pleasure to be among so many stars and I'm sure I'll learn a lot from everyone."
Rodriguez was one of the revelations of the World Cup, scoring in each of Colombia's games as they reached the quarter-finals of the competition for the very first time, eventually losing 2-1 to hosts Brazil.
In total Rodriguez scored six goals at the World Cup to finish as the leading scorer - one clear of Germany's Thomas Muller - while his stunning 25-yard volley against Uruguay was voted goal of the tournament on FIFA.com.
His signing comes less than a week after Madrid brought in another of the World Cup's star performers in Germany's Toni Kroos, who moved from Bayern Munich for a reported £24million.
After signing his contract alongside Real president Florentino Perez and being formally presented to the media in the Santiago Bernabeu's presidential box, Rodriguez retreated inside to change into the famous white kit for the first time.
He emerged to a rapturous reception from a 45,000-strong crowd, around a third of whom were wearing Colombia shirts.
Then while he kicked balls into the crowd - as is traditional for new high-profile arrivals to do - he was rushed by several enthusiastic supporters and made a point of embracing them before they were ushered away by security.
Rodriguez added: "I've always followed Real Madrid and always dreamed of playing here.
"I've suffered a lot to get here and when you do that then it tastes so much better.
"I will never forget this day. I hope to work hard, to train well, and to experience a lot of joy here.
"I know I am under a lot of pressure, but I am happy to face it."
Rodriguez began his professional career with Colombian side Envigado before moving down to Argentinian club Banfield aged 17.
His performances for the Buenos Aires outfit attracted the attention of Porto, who signed him for £4million in 2010, and three years later he joined Monaco for £38.5million after helping the Portuguese side win a hat-trick of league titles and the 2011 Europa League.
The left-footed forward scored 10 goals in 38 matches in all competitions for Monaco last term as they finished second in Ligue 1 behind Paris St Germain.
Big-spending Monaco said they had not been looking to sell Rodriguez but described the deal as "one of the most significant transfers in football history".
A statement on asm-fc.com read: "The club would like to take the opportunity to thank James for the role he played in getting the club back to the Champions League and wishes him the very best for the future.
"The club had no intention to sell the player, however the time came when the solution of a transfer was considered to be the most beneficial solution for all parties.
"Monaco is proud to be a party to one of the most significant transfers in football history.
"Monaco is a club that will continue to grow and remains focused on the future. More than ever it has the ambition to strengthen the team and continue to progress for next season."