James Rodriguez, one of the revelations of the World Cup, admits it would be a dream come true to join Real Madrid, but says his future is in the hands of his club Monaco.
Madrid have been heavily linked with a ¤70 million (£55m) swoop for the forward, who has been one of the stand-out players in Brazil and is still the tournament’s leading scorer with six goals, despite Colombia going out in the quarter-finals.
Rodriguez, 23, who only joined Monaco from Porto last season for a fee in the region of £38.5m, revealed he would fulfil a lifelong ambition by moving to the Bernabeu and would relish the chance to line up alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo.
He told Spanish newspaper Marca: “It’s really flattering to know that a club like Madrid, of such magnitude, are interested in me.
“It would be a dream to sign for the team of my dreams.
“I have a great deal of respect for other clubs and admire the good football they play, but ultimately Real Madrid are Real Madrid. I’ve always had a thing for them.
“It’s a dream, as I said, but also a privilege to play alongside players of such quality, all those world-class stars. It’s my life’s dream. If this finally happens, I only want to enjoy it. Cristiano is a great player, a superstar in capital letters. Cristiano deservedly won the Ballon d’Or, which recognises the best player in the world.
“I’m a very calm person, I try to stay calm at all times. But, to be honest, signing for Real Madrid is a different matter. I’m in the hands of president Florentino Perez,” he added with a smile.
On whether he thinks he is worth ¤70m, Rodriguez said: “I don’t know, I cannot talk about those things. I only do my work on the pitch. I’m not bothered about those things.” However, whether Rodriguez is able to fulfil his dream this summer remains to be seen.
He signed a five-year contract when he joined Monaco last year and the Colombian admits his future is down to the French club.
He said: “At Monaco I’m eternally grateful to [club president) Dmitry [Rybolovlev] and [vice-president] Vadim [Vasilyev] because they have given me this opportunity.
“It’s a club that are building something big. Obviously it would be a dream for me to play for Real Madrid, but I will always respect my current club, who will have the last word on the matter.”