Tuesday Kickoff: Rodriguez completes move to Real Madrid; Dunga to be next Brazil coach; and more

Tuesday Kickoff: Rodriguez completes move to Real Madrid; Dunga to be next Brazil coach; and more

South American Soccer

Tuesday Kickoff: Rodriguez completes move to Real Madrid; Dunga to be next Brazil coach; and more

James Rodriguez of Columbia celebrates scoring a goal after making it 2-0

By DAN KARELL

Arguably the World Cup’s most exciting player is heading to Madrid.

Real Madrid welcomed with open arms their latest “galactico” signing, securing AS Monaco and Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez on a six-year contract. The transfer fee was undisclosed by Real Madrid but reports in Spain believe the fee to be in the region of 75 million euros ($101 million).

The 23-year-old completed his physical in Madrid on Tuesday morning and will be presented to media and fans at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium Tuesday evening.

Rodriguez captured the hearts and eyes of the world with tremendous performances at the 2014 World Cup, leading Colombia in its first trip to the quarterfinals and nearly defeating Brazil. James won the tournament’s Golden Boot with six goals and two assists, scoring in all five games he played.

Rodriguez joins Toni Kroos as Real Madrid’s two summer transfer signings so far, with more expected before the start of the season.

Here are some more stories to start off your Tuesday:

DUNGA TO RETURN AS BRAZIL COACH

After briefly flirting with the idea of hiring a foreign manager, Brazil’s FA is moving forward with another familiar face.

Former Brazil player and coach Dunga is set to be introduced today as the new manager of the national team, according to reports in Brazil. Dunga won a World Cup with Brazil in 1994 and was capped 91 times as a player before leading the Selecao from 2006 through the 2010 World Cup.

Since his firing following the World Cup in South Africa, Dunga has only held one coaching job, taking over former club Internacional from December 2012 to October 2013. He was fired after a poor string of results.

In his first spell as Brazil coach, Dunga was in charge of 60 games, winning 42, drawing 12, and losing six. Dunga replaces Luiz Felipe Scolari, who led Brazil to a Confederations Cup title but was also present for Brazil’s capitulation in the World Cup semifinals and third-place game on home soil.

QUICK KICKS

Michael Garcia’s ethics report into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids has been delayed until September. (REPORT)

Borussia Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp has ruled out selling either Mats Hummels or Marco Reus this summer. (REPORT)

English FA president Greg Dyke said that England won’t bid on a World Cup or any FIFA international tournament as long as Sepp Blatter remains in charge. (REPORT)

Serbia is set to hire Dick Advocaat ahead of the 2016 UEFA European Championship qualification campaign. (REPORT)

Tottenham is keeping a close eye on Real Sociedad midfielder Antoine Griezmann. (REPORT)

Thiago has signed a new two-year contract with Atletico Madrid, spurning offers in England. (REPORT)

Fiorentina are nearing the signing of Argentine defender Jose Maria Basanta. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Rodriguez fitting into Real Madrid’s lineup? Do you feel they’ll have to sell someone else to afford his transfer fee? What do you think of Brazil going back to Dunga as coach?

Share your thoughts below.

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