World Cup 2014: Coaches praise Colombia's James Rodriguez

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World Cup moments: Commentator goes wild for Rodriguez

Colombia forward James Rodriguez is in the class of Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, according to Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez.

Rodriguez, 22, opened the scoring with a brilliant volley before adding a second to beat Uruguay and set up a quarter-final with hosts Brazil.

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman added: "I never had any doubts that this was going to be his World Cup."

"From what I have seen, he is the best player in the World Cup," said Tabarez.

"I am not exaggerating, he is a great striker."

With five goals, Rodriguez is the leading scorer at this year's tournament, one ahead of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Thomas Muller.

The Monaco star has now scored in each of his country's four games in the tournament and, while aware of last-eight opponents Brazil's threat, he says the hosts also need to be wary of Colombia.

"As a younger man, I always wanted to be here," said Rodriguez. "That was a great dream of mine and we hope that we can make it far.

"It is a dream and we are making history and we want to do even more because this is a team that wants to win a lot.

"There is no pressure. Obviously Brazil have their good players, they play well but I believe they must also follow us closely.

"We have good players and we can be dangerous, so this is going to be a beautiful match. It will be something extraordinary for us to play."

Rodriguez opened the scoring on 28 minutes against Uruguay with a wonderful volley from 20 yards.

James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez opened the scoring against Uruguay with a superb dipping volley from 20 yards

Controlling a looping header from Abel Aguilar on his chest, Rodriguez struck a magnificent volley on the turn that skimmed over the goalkeeper's fingertips and crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.

He then doubled Colombia's lead on 50 minutes, completing a fine flowing move with a close-range shot.

Tabarez placed Rodriguez among the greats of the game following his match-winning performance.

"For me, talents are those who do things that have nothing to do with their life experience," Tabarez said.

"Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and James Rodriguez - they do things because they have a certain gift which makes them special."

Pekerman added: "In my long experience in football, I've had extraordinary footballers in my teams, elite players of a very high technical level.

"What is most surprising is that, at his young age, he does not have any problem doing things football players take many years to understand."

Top Scorers
Rodriguez leads the chase for the Golden Boot. Thomas Muller won the accolade in 2010.
James Rodriguez facts
Born on 12 July, 1991 in Cucuta, Colombia
Began career at Envigado, joined Argentine club Banfield in 2009 and moved to Europe with Porto the following year
Won the 2012 Portuguese Golden Ball, given to the best player in the Primeira Liga, at the age of 20 - the youngest player to achieve the feat
Had won three successive league titles with Porto by the age of 21
Moved to Monaco for £38.5m in 2013, making him the second-most expensive Colombian in history, after Radamel Falcao

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