James Rodriguez Leaving Real Madrid for Everton FC

James Rodriguez is officially headed to the England…

The 29-year-old Colombian soccer player has joined Everton FC from Real Madrid, the Premier League club has announced.

James Rodriguez

The clubs have agreed a €25 million fee, according to ESPN. The deal will officially be for two years with an option for a third.

This is the third time Rodriguez has linked up with coach Carlo Ancelotti, having worked together at Real Madrid during the 2014-15 season and Bayern Munich in the 2017-18 season.

“I am really, really happy to be at this great club, a club with so much history, and here with a manager who knows me really well,” James told the Everton’s website.

“I’m looking forward to achieving great things here — and winning things, which is what everyone’s aim is. I’ve come here to try to improve, to get better. I’ve also come here to help the team to win, to play good football — entertaining football.”

Ancelotti’s presence at Goodison Park is understood to have been critical in getting a deal done.

“James… is a fantastic player with a lot of quality and a lot of ability to make assists for the strikers,” Ancelotti said.

“He was really excited to sign and I didn’t spend time to convince him — he was already convinced.”

Rodriguez is Everton’s second major signing in the close-season following the arrival of Brazilian midfielder Allan from Napoli.

Everton finished 12th last term and begin their new Premier League campaign with a trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Rodriguez was desperate to leave the Bernabeu this summer to restart his career after a disappointing final season in La Liga.

James had been given permission by Real Madrid to skip preseason training last week as the move was being finalized.

The playmaker signed with Real Madrid from AS Monaco for €80m in 2014 after excelling at the World Cup.

Lionel Messi: The World’s Most Famous Latino Athlete

Lionel Messiis kickin’ it to the top of the popularity charts…

The 31-year-old Argentine soccer star is the top-ranking Latino on ESPN’s World Fame 100 list, which identifies the most famous athletes in the world.

Lionel Messi

Messi, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner who plays for the Spanish club BarcelonaFC and the Argentina national team, comes in at No. 3 on this year’s list, behind soccer rival Cristiano Ronaldo and NBAsuperstar LeBron James. It’s the same position Messi held last year.

The World Fame 100 ranks athletes based on their Google search score, their endorsement dollars and social media followers.

Nipping at Messi’s heels… Neymar.

The 27-year-old Brazilian soccer star, who plays for the Brazil national team and French club Paris Saint-Germain, comes in at No. 4, the same position he held in 2018.

Also earning a spot in the Top 10… Rafael Nadal.

The 32-year-old Spanish tennis star comes in at No. 8, two spots behind his rival Roger Federer. Nadal held the same ranking last year.

In all, Latino athletes took up 23 spots on the list, the majority of them international soccer players like Andres Iniesta (Spain), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Alexis Sanchez (Chile) and Javier Hernandez (Mexico).

Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarezis the sole Latino boxer on the list, at No. 68, while Puerto Rican basketball player Carmelo Anthony, at No. 65, is the only Latino basketball player to make the grade.

There are no Latina athletes on this year’s list, which features tennis sensation Serena Williams as the top female athlete at No. 17.

Here’s a look at the Latinos who made the World Fame 100:

Rank, Name, Sport, Country, Search Score, Endorsements, Social Stats
No. 3, Lionel Messi, Soccer, Argentina, 54, $28m, 103.1 million
No. 4, Neymar, Soccer, Brazil, 55, $19m, 107.2 million
No. 8, Rafael Nadal, Tennis, Spain, 40, $29.3m, 15.6 million
No. 27, Andres Iniesta, Soccer, Spain, 8, $2.2m, 26.7 million
No. 29, James Rodriguez, Soccer, Colombia, 11, $4.8m, 40.5 million
No. 36, Luis Suarez, Soccer, Uruguay, 6, $7.4m, 31.2 million
No. 38, Sergio Ramos, Soccer, Spain, 13, $4m, 28.7 million
No. 44, Marcelo Vieira, Soccer, Brazil, 4, $3.2m, 33.8 million
No. 48, Radamel Falcao, Soccer, Brazil, 4, $4m, 16.9 million
No. 52, Sergio Aguero, Soccer, Argentina, 1, $6m, 28.7 million
No. 53, David De Gea, Soccer, Spain, 3, $7m, 11.8 million
No. 55, Paulo Dybala, Soccer, Argentina, 4, $4.03m, 24.7 million
No. 56, Dani Alves, Soccer, Brazil, 2, $8.75m, 21.5 million
No. 61, Philippe Coutinho, Soccer, Brazil, 15, $3.1m, 19.3 million
No. 62, David Luiz, Soccer, Brazil, 1, $1.3m, 24.9 million
No. 65, Carmelo Anthony, Basketball, USA, 6, $7m, 9.1 million
No. 66, Gerard Pique, Soccer, Spain, 5, $3.8m, 18.6 million
No. 68, Canelo Alvarez, Boxing, Mexico, 44, $2.5m, 4 million
No. 72, Alexis Sanchez, Soccer, Chile, 24, $3.8m, 9.6 million
No. 79, Cesc Fabregas, Soccer, Spain, 1, $5m, 10.3 million
No. 80, Gonzalo Higuain, Soccer, Argentina, 7, $6m, 6.8 million
No. 81, Isco, Soccer, Spain, 2, $5m, 16.4 million
No. 88, Javier Hernandez, Soccer, Mexico, 6, $9.9m, 5.1 million

Messi Nominated for FIFA Puskas Award for the Most Beautiful Goal of the Year

Could the fourth time be the charm for Lionel Messi?

The 28-year-old Argentine soccer superstar is among the 10 nominees for FIFA‘s Puskas Award, which celebrates the “most beautiful” goal of the year.

Lionel Messi

The award is named after legendary Real Madrid and Hungary striker Ferenc Puskas and the period for this year’s prize is from September 27, 2014 to September 23, 2015.

Messi, who was previously nominated for the prize in 2010, 2011 and 2012, was shortlisted for the Puskas Award for beating four defenders before scoring Barcelona‘s first goal against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final.

Here’s a look at this year’s Puskas Award nominees:

2015 Puskas Award nominations
David Ball – Fleetwood v Preston, League One
Gonzalo Castro – Real Sociedad v Deportivo, La Liga
Alessandro Florenzi – Roma v Barcelona, Champions League
Wendell Lira – Goianesia v Atletico, Brazil Football League
Carli Lloyd – USA v Japan, Women’s World Cup
Lionel Messi – Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao, Copa del Rey
Philippe Mexes – AC Milan v Inter Milan, friendly
Marcel Ndjeng – SC Paderborn v Bolton, friendly
Esteban Ramirez – Herediano v Deportivo Saprissa, Costa Rica
Carlos Tevez – Juventus v Parma Calcio, Serie A

The award was won by Colombia’s James Rodriguez last year for his goal against Uruguay in the World Cup.

Messi: The Top-Ranking Latino on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 List

Lionel Messi is a Latino at the top of the global earnings game…

The 28-year-old Argentine soccer star has earned the No. 13 spot on ForbesCelebrity 100, the list of the world’s highest-paid superstars of 2015.

Lionel Messi

Messi, the highest-ranking Latino on the list of the highest paid entertainers on the planet had earnings of $74 million during the reporting period.

In 2014, Spanish club Barcelona awarded Messi, a four-time FIFA player of the year, with a $9 million a year raise in his seventh contract since 2005, bringing his take home pay to $50 million a year through 2018. Messi holds records for most goals in Barca competitions, most goals in La Liga competitions, most goals scored in a calendar year and most hat tricks scored. That incredible talent is why sponsor Samsung cast him as superhero Iron Man in their ad to promote the Avengers film. It’s also why his main sponsor Adidas launched a Messi icon line of shoes and apparel, which has exceeded company sales expectations, including in the U.S.

He recently ranked as the top-ranking Latino on Forbes’ 2015 list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes, coming in at No. 4.

Meanwhile, Gisele Bündchen has earned the distinction of highest-ranking Latina on this year’s list.

The 34-year-old Brazilian supermodel, who has been the highest-paid model in the world since 2004, comes in at No. 46 with earnings of $44 million.

Bündchen, the world’s highest-paid model in 2014, continues to out-earn her younger counterparts. Despite rumors that she was retiring from the runway, Bündchen’s earnings have not suffered. She continues to land lucrative fragrance and beauty contracts with Carolina Herrera and Chanel, supplementing those deals with high fashion campaigns for Emilio Pucci and Balenciaga. Her Under Armour advertisement, which showed her attacking a punching bag while social media commentary blared in the background, was one of the most impactful this year. Bündchen has turned her name into a brand: she gets a cut of sales from the jelly sandals she designs for Brazilian shoemaker Grendene, while her line of Hope lingerie – Gisele Bündchen Intimates – also pumps up her paycheck.

Coming in at No. 52 is Bruno Mars, with earnings of $40 million.

The 29-year-old part-Puerto Rican singer-songwriter’s recent collaboration with Mark Ronson, “Uptown Funk,” spent 14 consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. It was only one of many reasons Mars solidified his place on the Celebrity 100. After being the featured musician in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Class of 2014, Mars continued to make a name for himself by completing his Moonshine Jungle tour. He’s currently working on his next album, and if it is anything like his previous studio effort, Mars can expect the awards and dollars to keep rolling in.

In all, 10 Latino/a celebrities made this year’s list, including tennis star Rafael Nadal, soccer phenom Neymar and multi-hyphenate extraordinaire Jennifer Lopez.

Here’s the complete list of Latino superstars on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list:

No. 13 Lionel Messi, $74 million
No. 46 Gisele Bündchen, $44 million
No. 52 Bruno Mars, $40 million
No. 63 Fernando Alonso, $35.5 million
No. 76 Rafael Nadal, $32.5 million
No. 82 Neymar, $31 million
No. 86 Carmelo Anthony, $30.5 million
No. 89 James Rodriguez, $29 million
No. 95 Jennifer Lopez, $28.5 million
No. 95 Sofia Vergara, $28.5 million

Messi: The Highest-Ranking Latino on Forbes’ World’s Highest-Paid Athletes List

Lionel Messi is rolling in the deep dough…

The 27-year-old Argentine soccer star is the highest-ranking Latino on Forbes magazine’s 2015 list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes with $73.8 million in salary/winnings and endorsements.

Lionel Messi

Last year, FC Barcelona awarded their record four-time Ballon d’Or, FIFA’s Player of the Year, winner with a $9 million a year raise in his seventh contract since 2005 to bring his take home pay to $50 million a year through 2018.

Messi now holds the records for all-time all-game goals for Barcelona, most goals in La Liga competitions, most goals scored in a calendar year and most hat tricks scored.

Messi’s superhuman talent is why sponsor Samsung cast him as superhero Iron Man in their ad to promote the Avengers film. It’s also why his main sponsor Adidas launched a Messi icon line of shoes and apparel, which has exceeded company sales expectations, including in the U.S. In all, he earned $22 million in endorsements.

But Messi isn’t the only Latino athlete to make the list.

Fernando Alonso ranks No. 17 on Forbes’ world’s highest-paid athletes roster with combined earnings of $35.5 million.

The 33-year-old Spanish Formula One driver and a two-time World Champion secured another massive payday when he negotiated a return to McLaren-Honda, where he raced during the 2007 season. The two-year deal is worth more than $30 million annually.

Alonso finished second in the F1 standings in 2012 and 2013, but dropped to sixth last year in his final year with Ferrari. Alonso failed to secure a single point in the first five races of the 2015 F1 season. Alonso partnered with UAE sport investment firm Novo last year to establish a professional cycling team in the future.

Next on the list, Rafael Nadal, who comes in at No. 22 with earnings of $32.5 million.

The 29-year-old Spanish tennis star, who has struggled with injuries after a colossal 2013 season, saw his prize money drop by $10 million to $4.5 million in the latest 12 months.

He was the No. 1 player in the world as recently as June 2014, but sits at No. 10 a year later. He even lost at the French Open in the semifinals after winning 66 of his previous 67 matches and nine titles at Roland Garros.

Nadal did sign two new endorsements deals, with Tommy Hilfiger and Spanish communications giant Telefonica. Kia Motors also renewed its contract with Nadal in May for five years through 2020. They first partnered in 2004.

Nadal’s $73 million in career prize money ranks third all-time behind Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Other Latino athletes making the Top 30 on Forbes’ list are soccer phenom Neymar at No. 23, NBA star Carmelo Anthony at No. 25 and World Cup standout and Google god James Rodriguez at No. 27.

Here’s a look at the Latino athletes who made this year’s list:

No. 4 Lionel Messi, Soccer, Argentine, $73.8 Million
No. 17 Fernando Alonso, Racing, Spanish, $35.5 Million
No. 22 Rafael Nadal, Tennis, Spanish, #32.5 Million
No. 23 Neymar, Soccer, Brazilian, $31 Million
No. 25 Carmelo Anthony, Basketball, Half-Puerto Rican, $30.5 Million
No. 27 James Rodriguez, Soccer, Colombian, $29 Million
No. 30 Robinson Cano, Baseball, Dominican, $27.6 Million
No. 38 Radamel Falcao, Soccer, Colombian, $25.9 Million
No. 38 Albert Pujols, Baseball, Dominican, $25.9 Million
No. 43 Miguel Cabrera, Baseball, Venezuelan, $25.1 Million
No. 45 Sergio Aguero, Soccer, Argentine, $24.9 Million
No. 60 Felix Hernandez, Baseball, Venezuelan, $22.9 Million
No. 67 Tony Romo, Football, Mexican American, $22 Million
No. 69 Adrian Gonzalez, Baseball, Mexican American, $21.5 Million
No. 73 Luis Suarez, Soccer, Uruguayan, $21 Million
No. 79 Cesc Fabregas, Soccer, Spanish, $20.3 Million
No. 79 Hanley Ramirez, Baseball, Dominican, $20.3 Million
No. 87 David Ortiz, Baseball, Dominican, $19.7 Million

Click here for the complete list.

Rodriguez Named People en Español’s El Hombre Más Sexy of 2014

His impressive performance at this year’s World Cup earned James Rodriguez international acclaim… But it’s his handsome looks that have turned him into a sex symbol.

The 23-year-old Colombian soccer star, who earned the Golden Boot at this year’s World Cup for being the tournament’s top scorer, has been declared as 2014’s El Hombre Más Sexy by People en Español.

James Rodriguez People en Espanol

Rodriguez appears on the cover of the TBD issue of the Spanish-language magazine wearing a blue button-down shirt. But he’s also seen in green and a black shirt in a video shared by the magazine. The 20-second spot features Rodriguez posing for the camera, and though he doesn’t say a word, it does show his personality. At one point, he’s very concentrated on posing, but when he sees the camera, he cracks a smile and gives a thumbs up.

For it’s must-read feature on Rodriguez, the magazine called on the soccer star’s wife, Daniela Ospina, to offer insight on her handsome husband. She said he’s “a very attractive man. But what I most like is the way he is, his personality. It’s what I really love.”

James Rodriguez People en Espanol

Even though his powerful performance at the World Cup led to Real Madrid acquiring him from French-league club AS Monaco this summer and signing him for six seasons, his wife says he hasn’t let fame go to his head.

“He’s still the same. What really characterizes him is his humility,” the player’s mother, Maria del Pilar Rubio, said in a statement to the magazine, adding that Rodriguez “hasn’t let himself be impressed” by those contracts worth millions.

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.

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.