Rodriguez: 2014’s Top Trending Athlete on Google

James Rodríguez is a Google god…

The 23-year-old Colombian footballer, who plays for Real Madrid and the Colombian national team, top’s Google’s year-end list of Trending Athletes.

James Rodríguez

In his first opportunity to shine on the world soccer stage, Rodríguez managed to become Colombia’s golden boy. Searches for him grew more than for any other player during this year’s World Cup.

Rodríguez finished as the World Cup’s top scorer, making the FIFA All-Star Team, before landing a move to Real Madrid. He went on to be named 2014’s El Hombre Más Sexy by People en Español.

Here’s a look at the Latinos who made this year’s Top 10 list of Trending Athletes on Google.

No. 1 James Rodriguez
No. 4 Luis Suarez
No. 5 Neymar
No. 8 Francisco Guillermo Ochoa Magaña

To see all the lists, simply visit Google.com/2014.

Rodriguez Wins FIFA’s Golden Boot Award After Being the Top Goal Scorer at the World Cup

World Cup 2014

James Rodriguez has the FIFA Wold Cup’s golden leg…

The 23-year-old Colombian forward was awarded FIFA’s Golden Boot award after being the top goal scorer at this year’s World Cup.

James Rodriguez

Rodriguez, who scored six goals in five games at the 2014 Brazil World Cup, celebrated along with his family following the end of the championship match where Germany edged Argentina 1-0 for the trophy.

Germany’s Thomas Mueller and Brazil’s Neymar won the silver and bronze boots for their respective five and four goals of the tournament.

Rodriguez is the first Colombian to ever win the prize.

“Thanks to God. All of you for the effort you made. And to my national team colleagues who made it all possible,” posted Rodriguez on his Twitter account.

Thanks largely to Rodriguez’s six goals, Colombia made it past the first two rounds of the World Cup for the first time in history before knocked out in the quarterfinals by host Brazil with a score of 2-1.

Messi Receives FIFA’s Golden Ball Award After This Year’s World Cup

World Cup 2014

Despite a heartbreaking loss in the World Cup final, Lionel Messi is still a golden boy.

The soccer star and captain of the Argentina national team was awarded FIFA‘s Golden Ball award as the best player of the FIFA World Cup after leading his team to Sunday’s final.

Lionel Messi

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who kept a clean sheet as his side beat Argentina 1-0 in extra time at the Maracana to claim their fourth World Cup, was awarded the Golden Gloves as the tournament’s top keeper.

“It is a sad prize that I won because we wanted to lift the trophy for Argentina,” Messi said of his consolation prize, as if the look on his face had not already said it all.

Four-times World Player of the Year Messi had a quiet game by his standards on Sunday but was the driving force behind Argentina’s push to their first World Cup final since 1990.

He scored four of their six goals in the group stage, set up Angel di Maria‘s winner in the last 16 against Switzerland and shouldered the burden of slotting home Argentina’s first penalty in their shootout win over the Netherlands in the semi-finals.

Messi also won four successive man-of-the-match awards against Bosnia, Iran, Argentina and Switzerland.

While some pundits thought Messi looked jaded after the group stage and did not influence his team as much, Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said he was a deserving winner.

“I think Lionel reached the pantheon of the greats a while back,” Sabella told reporters. “Yes, I think he deserved it. He played a great World Cup to get us where he did.

“I think it’s very deserved.”

Germany forward Thomas Mueller was runner-up to Messi and Netherlands winger Arjen Robben was third.

France midfielder Paul Pogba was named young player of the tournament, while Colombia took the Fair Play Award after receiving just five yellow cards in five matches in Brazil.

FIFA also praised their positive play and the behavior of their players and officials.

Rodriguez Scores Two Goals to Lead Colombia Into Its First World Cup Quarterfinal

World Cup 2014

It looks like James Rodriguez is emerging at this year’s FIFA World Cup superstar…

The 22-year-old Colombian footballer scored a pair of goals to give Colombia a 2-0 victory on Saturday over Uruguay, earning his team its first-ever World Cup quarterfinal berth.

James Rodriguez

The Uruguayans came into the match at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana Stadium with a chip on their shoulder after Luis Suarez was given a nine-match international ban for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in Group D action Tuesday, but the loss of their star striker proved too much against Jose Pekerman’s talented squad.

Both teams started off the match at an unhurried pace, patiently looking to mount their attacks in the Round of 16 knockout match.

But when it seemed that the crowd of 73,804 might have to wait a while for the action to heat up, Rodriguez produced one of the most stunning goals of the 2014 World Cup in the 28th minute.

The play started with midfielder Abel Aguilar lofting a ball in the direction of forward Jackson Martinez, who was standing just outside Uruguay’s penalty area.

Uruguayan defender Maxi Pereira tried to clear the ball but it went back to Aguilar, who headed to Rodriguez.

Rodriguez proceeded to bounce the ball off his chest to give himself some space and then, without letting it hit the ground, fired a left-footed rocket from 25 yards out that hit the crossbar over the outstretched arm of net minder Fernando Muslera and ricocheted into the goal.

It was Rodriguez’s fourth goal of the World Cup and tied him for the tournament lead along with Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Brazil’s Neymar and Germany’s Thomas Müller.

But Rodriguez, who plays for AS Monaco in Ligue 1, wasn’t done yet.

Just five minutes into the second half, midfielder Juan Guillermo Cuadrado received a cross from defender Pablo Armero and headed it back across the box to Rodriguez, who knocked a right-footed shot into a practically empty net for his tournament-leading fifth goal.

Nearly an entire half of soccer still remained to be played but Uruguay, lacking Suarez’s firepower, was unable to cut into the lead against a well-organized defense backed by stellar goalkeeper David Ospina.

Next up for this history-making Colombian squad will be host nation Brazil, which topped Chile on penalties earlier Saturday.

That quarterfinal clash will be played Friday at Castelao Stadium in the northeastern city of Fortaleza.

César Stops Two Penalty Shootout Kicks to Help Brazil Defeat Chile

World Cup 2014

Júlio César is being heralded as Brazil’s saving grace…

The 34-year-old Brazilian footballer, the national team’s goalkeeper, emerged as Brazil’s hero on Saturday after Brazil squeaked past Chile 3-2 in a penalty shootout to advance to the FIFA World Cup quarterfinals.

Julio Cesarorld

After the teams played to a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of extra time at Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, César – a goalkeeper for Major League Soccer (MLS) club Toronto FC – stopped penalty kicks by Mauricio Pinilla and Alexis Sanchez. The match then ended when Gonzalo Jara’s blast clanked off the post.

Brazil’s shootout goals came from David Luiz, Marcelo and finally Neymar, who calmly fired a strike into the left part of the goal after first trying to gauge where Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo would be moving.

The match was played on even terms until the 18th minute, when David Luiz scored from just a few feet away from the goal line after Thiago Silva headed the ball his way following a corner kick.

It initially appeared that the ball had gone in the net off Jara’s foot.

Chile got the equalizer in the 32nd minute when Eduardo Vargas took advantage of a Brazilian defensive blunder and centered the ball to Alexis Sanchez, who fired a perfectly placed strike past a diving César.

Brazil then had a couple of chances before halftime, but a header by Neymar was deflected away by Jara and then a blast off the foot of Fred sailed over the crossbar.

In the 54th minute, Hulk appeared to score the go-ahead goal when he received a cross and fired a shot past Bravo. But English referee Howard Webb waived it off and gave the forward a yellow card, ruling that he had lowered the ball with his arm.

Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari then sent on Jo and Ramires to replace Fred and Fernandinho, respectively, but they were unable to provide the creative spark needed to break down Chile’s resistance.

Bravo’s heroics also were key to keeping the match tied, as he stopped a header from Neymar and a powerful strike from Hulk before the end of the second half.

In extra time, Brazil dominated ball possession but had no answer for Chile’s all-out defensive tactics.

La Roja also proved dangerous with the few chances it had, with Pinilla blasting a shot off the crossbar shortly before the end of extra time.

With the win, the Brazilians, who are seeking their sixth World Cup title, advance to a quarterfinal match on July 4 against Colombia, which defeated Uruguay 2-0.

Urán Earns a Silver in the Olympic Men’s Cycling Road Race

London Olympics 2012

Rigoberto Urán is the first Latino to take the podium at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London…

The 25-year-old Colombian road racing cyclist was thisclose to winning the gold medal in the men’s cycling road race on Saturday morning. But in the closing kilometers of the race, Kazakhstan’s Alexandre Vinokourov sprinted just past Urán to earn the gold medal.

Rigoberto Urán

Urán, the winner of the young rider classification at this year’s Giro d’Italia, would have to settle for the silver.

“To be honest I wasn’t counting on the medal but we have it now. This one is for all the people of Colombia who were hoping,” said Urán at the finish line. “Colombia, this medal is for you.”

Rigoberto Urán

Winning the silver just days into the 2012 London Games was a proud moment for Urán and his country. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Colombia took home just one medal – a silver in the women’s 55kg wrestling. Uran was hoping for the gold, but didn’t have the strength to overhaul by Vinokourov.

“I attacked and at the sprint I was thinking of the gold [medal]. However, one thing is what you think and another thing is what the legs say,” the cyclist told RCN Radio. “I looked to my right and suddenly Alexandre took off. I didn’t have anything left for a sprint. It was a very long day.”

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos immediately reacted to the news of the country’s first medal in London for 2012.

“I want to express my happiness and I believe the happiness of all Colombians because we have just won the first medal at the London Olympics,” he said in a public speech.

Uran’s silver is just the 12th medal won by a Colombian at the Olympic Games.

Alexander Kristoff
of Norway took home the bronze in the men’s cycling road race.

Mr. Ambassador Leguizamo!

He’s one of the most successful Colombian actors in Hollywood, noted for his work in beloved films like the “Ice Age” franchise, “Romeo + Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge”… But Colombian-born actor/comedian John Leguizamo is taking on a big role! He’ll serve as a Colombian ambassador.

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos elevated Leguizamo’s “Honorary Ambassador” status, which he received in 2009, to the official title of the country’s ambassador to the world of cinema.

“He was named ambassador of Colombia for all the directors and great actors in the world,” announced Santos in a press conference with Leguizamo, whom he’d previously met at the presidential palace.

The Bogota born actor, who was raised in Queens, New York, is ready for the challenge.

“To be an ambassador is a big responsibility,” professed Leguizamo. “But Colombia is a stunning country… And we want to offer it to the world to enjoy.”

President Santos hopes Leguizamo’s work will help disprove many of the outdated negative views and notions about Colombia.

“I want to thank you very much, with all of my heart, in the name of all Colombians, for your presence and this offer to become our ambassador to Hollywood, to all of the great international studios, because this not only helps our image, it shows who we really are, it breaks a series of negative perceptions that over many years have accumulated in the mind of many people,” announced the Colombian head of state.