Wrong again! What’s new World Cup hero actually called, then?

The Rio Report

View gallery


'Ha-Mes' Rodriguez

He's set the World Cup alight with his coruscating goals, dazzling smile and ebullient celebrations. But how on earth do you pronounce his name?

James Rodriguez is a name that is easy to type, but less straightforward to say with any confidence.

If you've come to this blog hoping for a definitive, confident answer, then we are sorry to say that we can only speculate. But at least we can do better than some TV pundits and foolhardy British talking faces.

Ever determined to focus on the important things, everyone enjoying Colombia's last 16 clash with Uruguay via the medium of Twitter appeared to spend the entire evening debating the subject, without much of a conclusion.

The situation was hardly cleared up by the professional football broadcasters paid to provide insight and clarity as ITV presenter Adrian Chiles and his merry band of pundits argued over the conundrum with even less coherence than those on social media.

It all began - during the TV broadcast, at least - when Ian Wright declared in bullish fashion that it was "Hah-mez". His effort was met with nothing but proud approval from both Lee Dixon and Martin O'Neill.

But the situation was thrown into chaos when lead commentator Clive Tyldesley proceeded to add on a couple of additional 'aaaaaa's' to the standard pronunciation of a regular James.

View gallery


Then it came to Chiles, who appeared to unintentionally stoke the fires of the debate at half-time with his ham-fisted effort.

The presenter asserted that Rodriguez "calls himself Ya-Mez". Indeed, he went on to encourage that others - particularly those not from Colombia, it seemed - latch on to convert it to a trend.

Would 'all the other Jameses out there want to follow suit?' he pondered, audibly, before a barrage of 'No, Chiles, you are wrong' responses on social media.

But to be fair to Chiles, Tyldesley, et al, they were far from on their own in stumbling through the various options seemingly on offer in pronouncing the five-goal World Cup surprise star.

So what do we know about James David Rodriguez Rubio, or simply James?

He was born in Cucuta in 1991 to Wilson James Rodriguez Bedolla and Maria Del Pilar Rubio and was brought up in the Colombian city of Ibague.

Rodriguez was apparently named after fictional British spy James Bond and was subsequently nicknamed the "James Bond of Banfield" when at the Argentine club early in his fledgling career.

Now playing for Monaco following his 45 million euros transfer from Porto in May of last year, many argue that his name must be pronounced as an English James given that he was named after Bond.

View gallery


Is that the definitive answer? Well, no. Eurosport's man in Brazil, Reda Maher, was quick on the case and concluded after chatting with Colombian journalists that it was, in fact, 'Hah-mes'.

So, as we thought all along, Ian Wright is - probably - closest to being correct. Well, out of the ITV team, that is. Consider this matter still very much open.

The important point to note out of all this? Rodriguez, regardless of his first name, is pretty brilliant.



View comments (95)