Colombian Soccer Superstar James Rodríguez Is Calling The Shots On The Field And In His Career

James RodriguezPhoto Credit: Alex Teuscher

Photography: Alex Teuscher

Soccer, or football (as the rest of the world calls it), is undeniably the world’s sport. So when a player like James Rodríguez comes along—who has been dubbed the most successful Colombian soccer player of all time—the noise reverberates stateside. The 26-year-old midfielder has gained significant notoriety not just in the world of soccer, but in the world of sport as a whole, with his precise technique, his impressive foresight and his unparalleled skills on the field. His performance was recognized on a global level during 2014’s World Cup in Brazil, where he was deservedly awarded the FIFA World Cup adidas Golden Boot. The adidas Golden Boot—one of the most highly coveted recognitions for the top soccer strikers in the world—is presented to the highest scorer at the FIFA World Cup. Needless to say, Rodríguez has set the bar very high for himself at such a very young age, but his competitive spirit won’t allow him to slow down anytime soon.

James RodriguezPhoto Credit: Alex Teuscher

As this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia quickly approaches, he will surely be gearing up for one of the biggest sporting events in the world accordingly. But this year will be a little different for the soccer superstar. Not only will he have his Colombian fan base in his corner, but also one of the biggest high-end watch manufacturers in the world: Hublot. As the Swiss watchmaker’s latest friend of the brand, Rodríguez has opened a new door in his career and entered into the luxury world. Amidst his demanding training schedule and preparing for the tournament, Haute Living sat down with the young soccer sensation to discuss his roots, his daily regimen and his collaboration with Hublot.

HL: Can you tell us a little bit about your journey and your life? What drove you to play soccer at such a high level?

JR: I have been playing soccer since I was about four years old. You always hope you can reach the top of the profession, that you can play in the big leagues and achieve all of the goals you hope to accomplish throughout your life. It was hard to reach the level that I am at today—there are of course those bad moments and bad experiences you must go through. That is part of the journey when you are trying to reach the top. I think seeing where I am today and the results that I have had makes everything I went through and everything I did worth it.

James RodriguezPhoto Credit: Gestifute Media / Jorge Monteiro

HL: Which soccer players did you watch and admire as you grew up?

JR: I grew up watching Diego Maradona—El Pibe De Oro [“The Golden Boy”]. I think he was everyone’s idol. I had the opportunity to speak with him, and I told him that. I grew up watching him because he was number 10, the one who made the passes, the one who always played great, no matter what. I think he was definitely the idol I always had growing up.

HL: Speaking of growing up, we see that on your Instagram account you show the world your beautiful daughter, Salomé, quite regularly. Can you tell us about what being a father has been like for you? How has it changed your life?

JR: It has changed my life for the better. Some people think that your life changes for the worse when you become a father, but on the contrary, when my daughter was born, she brought light and joy into my life. I think having kids is really something so beautiful.

HL: With the highly anticipated FIFA World Cup in Russia quickly approaching, how do you prepare for the most important soccer tournament in the world?

JR: Well, everyone knows that the World Cup is every four years. Each day that passes, you grow older with age and experience. You begin to learn and understand how to face the challenges and experiences of it all. Especially when you have also played in the Cups prior, you begin to calmly look at the situation and everything that is coming. I think if you make rash decisions and approach the tournament with nervousness, you might not get the results you were hoping for. So, you need to be calm and just hope you can have a great World Cup. Personally, I of course want to help Colombia have a great World Cup this year and that is what I am preparing for.

James RodriguezPhoto Credit: Alex Teuscher

HL: Can you tell us a bit about how you spend your normal day-to-day life?

JR: I basically live for the game. You constantly have to train yourself and take care of your well-being— your mind and your body. In the morning, I usually train. In the afternoon, I do everything I need to do in order to remain physically healthy. Basically, that is my entire day until about 6 or 7 p.m. After that, I eat dinner and then my day is complete.

HL: We know Hublot will play a large role in this year’s Cup since it is one of this year’s sponsors. It is one of the biggest luxury watch companies in the world and has an extensive repertoire of impressive ambassadors and partnerships. What does your relationship with the Swiss-based luxury watch company mean to you?

JR: Simply put, it is an honor. Hublot is a huge brand, and I hope that my relationship with them lasts for a very long time. I have so much respect for them.

James RodriguezPhoto Credit: Gestifute Media / Jorge Monteiro

HL: We are also looking forward to your watch collaboration with Hublot on the James Rodríguez Big Bang. What can we expect from this watch?

JR: I think it is a beautiful watch. It includes my signature and the number 10. I am very pleased with how neat the watch is, and like I said before, Hublot is a tremendous brand that I am so fortunate to have partnered with.

HL: You have already seen a lot of success at such a young age. How do you ensure you remain grounded and humble through everything?

JR: I always hope for more, I always strive for more. I think when you have certain things, you always want to ensure you remain at that level and to continue to be great. I always aim to train to the best of my ability and always strive to play the best that I can play. I think there is still a lot to be achieved. I think that is my key to remaining grounded. I never want to stay at the level that I am. I always want to strive for more and move up the ladder.

James RodriguezPhoto Credit: Alex Teuscher

HL: What are your ambitions for yourself later on in life?

JR:  I think when I finish playing soccer, I will remain in the world of the sport. Not as a tech, but definitely will remain active in the world of soccer. There is a lot of room to be a general or the face of a club. That’s definitely my goal after I retire as a player.

Be sure to catch Rodríguez on soccer’s biggest stage this summer at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.