There aren’t many players (if any) who’ve seen their career shoot to the moon like Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez over the last two years. Rodriguez, 24, is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world and is a superstar in his native Colombia.
He began playing professional soccer at 15 with hometown club Envigazdo before moving on to Argentina and then Europe with Porto and Monaco.
Rodriguez is also a family man, having been married to fellow Colombian Daniela Ospina for several years.
Here’s what you need to know about the couple.
1. They Met Through Daniela’s Brother, Arsenal’s David Ospina
Daniela, 23, is the younger sibling of Arsenal goalie David Ospina. Ospina spent more than a half decade in France with Nice before Arsenal snapped him up last season. David, 27, has been capped more than 50 times by Colombia.
The Ospinas are from Medellin, one of the largest cities in the country. It’s unclear how they initially crossed paths, Daniela and James were introduced to one another by David in 2008, and began dating son after.
Rodriguez’s father also played in their native Colombia, but left the family when James was a young child.
2. The Couple Have Been Married for Almost 5 Years
Shortly after Daniela turned 18-years-old, Rodriguez and Ospina were married in 2010 just months after Rodriguez signed for Porto.
The couple would move to Madrid when Real signed Rodriguez after just one year in Monaco for an astounding $108 million. The transfer fee was the fourth highest ever paid for a player.
Close to 50,000 people attended his introduction shortly after the World Cup.
3. The Couple Have 1 Daughter Together
After a few years of marriage, the couple welcomed daughter Salome into the world in 2013. Now two-years-old, Salome is a fan favorite already.
4. Rodriguez Broke out During the 2014 World Cup
Though Rodriguez had some success at Porto and made a big transfer to Monaco in 2013, he had yet to become a household name he was about to. That would happen on the biggest stage in soccer.
Colombia were seen as outsiders as the 2014 World Cup began, but that would change quickly as the country won all three group matches to advance to the second round.
In the Round of 16 Rodriguez scored a pair of goals in a 2-0 upset of Uruguay, including this stunning strike. The goal earned him the Puskas Award for the best goal in the tournament.
Rodriguez’ six goals were tops in the tournament as Colombia were eliminated by Brazil in the quarterfinals.
5. Daniela Plays Competitive Volleyball in Madrid
Daniela played volleyball in Colombia growing up and had to put her career on hold once the couple moved to Monaco from Porto. An opportunity arose last year for her to play for Real Madrid and in September the decision was announced.
She made her debut in January, 2015 with Real Madrid, and has been on the roster since.
Like Rodriguez, Ospina sported a No. 10 jersey.
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