Colombian striker James Rodríguez made one fan’s dream come true prior to the Colombia-Peru match of the Copa América.
In a video, 10-year-old Real Madrid fan Miguel Ángel Ortiz is seen waiting for the Colombian team to arrive.
As the players leave their tour bus, Miguel begins to shout at Colombian players Falcao and Rodríguez.
James comes over to talk to the little boy, now in floods of tears.
“Why are you crying, smile!” says the winger, in a gesture of compassion.
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The football player then gives Miguel his pre-match shirt.
“James, hello and thank you for giving me your shirt,” Miguel says at the end of the clip, after meeting his hero.
The team subsequently tied Peru, 0-0, in Saturday’s match, and had to wait for the result of the later match between Brazil and Venezuela to find out if Colombia would advance to the knockout round.
“We wanted to win, those were three intense hours [waiting for the Brazil-Venezuela result]. During the last three games I didn’t get to play much.” James told La Tercera.
“I always want to win. There are always good points and we still have four more days to practice. There are always things to improve on,” the football player added.
Colombia’s lack of goals during the South American championship tournament has been discussed intensely in local media.
James has only played three full matches, with six opportunities for a goal so far (he hit the bar twice and missed twice). He has reportedly missed the ball 86 times, El Tiempo reported.
The player rose to fame during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after scoring a total of six goals for Colombia.
Colombia’s strikers — Radamel Falcao García, Teófilo Gutiérrez, Jackson Martínez and Carlos Bacca — have as yet scored no goals during the tournament, despite their combined total salaries of 100 million euros.
The squad will face Argentina on Friday night during the quarterfinals.
Will James regain some of his 2014 magic? This could be just what Colombia needs if they wish to remain in the tournament.