This time four years ago James Rodriguez had just scored a brace in the World Cup Round of 16 against Uruguay to set up a quarter-final clash with South American rivals Brazil.
Rodriguez scored six in total throughout the tournament, earning him the Golden Boot award for scoring the most goals, as well as a place in the World Cup Dream Team.
One of those goals, a volley from outside of the box, earned Rodriguez the Goal of the Tournament award too.
It was an incredible display from the 22-year-old, who was still relatively unknown on the world stage.
However, it didn’t take long for the world’s biggest clubs to take notice. Weeks after the tournament reached its conclusion, Rodriguez was heading to Real Madrid for a £70m transfer fee, becoming the fourth most expensive player in history at the time. It was almost double what Monaco had paid for the talented attacking midfielder just 12 months earlier.
On top of that, Rodriguez was reportedly handed a contract worth €8.2m annually at Real Madrid.
Despite Real Madrid spending approximately €115m on the emerging Rodriguez over a three year period, he was unable to make the impact that the club expected.
Rodriguez made just 29 league appearances throughout his first season, as injury saw him miss a number of weeks. However, he ended the season with a decent return of 13 goals and 13 assists. Yet, despite showing promise, the Colombian has seen his role reduced each year since and his performances have suffered as a result.
He made 26 league appearances in the 2015/16 season, scoring seven and assisting eight, while fell to 22 appearances the following season, producing eight goals and six assists. He spent nine of the 16 games that he missed sitting on the bench, while he failed to make the squad on one occasion. Likewise, he managed to last the entire 90 minutes in just five games.
Rodriguez has since joined Bayern Munich on a two year loan. However, his first season in the Bundesliga failed to produce the turn of form that the German champions would have hoped for.
And yet, despite his noticeable decline, Rodriguez’s continues to be one of football’s highest-earning professionals.
Ahead of Colombia’s World Cup clash with England, Verdict looks back at Rodriguez’s career earnings and the deals that helped him to make his fortune.
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James Rodriguez sponsorship deals
Unsurprisingly, Rodriguez’s showing at the 2014 World Cup has attracted a fair few sponsors. Since 2014, Rodriguez has agreed nine deals with six different companies according to sports market intelligence company Sportcal. These include deals sportwear giants Adidas, sports drink Gatorade and financial services provider Libertex.
Sportcal has little information on the amount that Rodriguez earns through these deals. However, we can assume that the Adidas deal, which sees him wear Adidas boots on the field and promote the Adidas X range, is his most lucrative sponsorship deal to date.
The most unusual is his partnership with blockchain-powered fintech platform SelfSell. The two parties recently collaborated to release the JR10 token, Rodriguez’s very own cryptocurrency.
What do Rodriguez’s sponsors get in return?
In return, brands gain access to a vast army of social media followers.
Since the 2014 World Cup, Rodriguez has amassed a social media following of close to 87m fans.
He is the third most followed player competing at this summer’s World Cup, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Lionel Messi. Likewise, despite his decline, he continues to gather an additional 11m followers each year.
Rodriguez’s audience engage with his posts too. Since January, he has amassed 67m social media interactions, including likes, comments, shares and video views, according to sports social media sponsorship data tool Hookit. This proves valuable for brands that are looking to target large volumes of football fans.
For example, in a 12 month period between June 2017 and June 2018, Rodriguez made 114 social media posts on behalf of his biggest sponsor, Adidas. According to Hookit, those posts drove $48m of value for the sportswear brand.
Sponsorship vs sport: How does Rodriguez earn most of his money?
After joining Real Madrid in 2014, Rodriguez instantly became the eighth highest-earning football player in the world, only trailing the biggest names in the game at the time. His bumper new deal put him ahead of the likes of Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez and Eden Hazard.
However, it took some time for sponsors to catch up. Just 16% of his earnings that year came from endorsements. In that year, Rodriguez took home $25.4m, $21.4m of which came from his Real Madrid wages and bonuses.
Salary remains Rodriguez’s biggest revenue stream and has been throughout his career. However, the gap between the two has closed somewhat over the years.
Rodriguez’s endorsement earnings peaked at $7m in 2016, which was approximately a third of his total earnings of $21.9m.
Over the past four years, Rodriguez has made approximately 75% of his earnings from his salary and 25% of his earnings from sponsorship deals.
James Rodriguez net worth: How much has he made so far?
Rodriguez has been earning $22m on average each year since emerging as a star of the game at the 2014 World Cup. Despite falling down the pecking order in Madrid, Rodriguez has continued to take home an astronomical amount of money.
Rodriguez has taken home $89m in the last four years. Having signed a $9m deal with Bayern, he will continue to add millions to his net worth.
According to wealth management publication Spear’s, Rodriguez is currently worth approximately $26m. Celebrity Net Worth estimates his wealth in a similar region, at around $30m.