It says everything about James’ quality that a team that had finally achieved their “La Decima” dream by winning the Champions League saw it necessary to fork out €71million to Monaco for his signature.
You don’t have to ponder for long to realise why Madrid made the decision.
James had just taken the football world by storm at the World Cup, winning the Golden Boot award with six goals including a volley against Uruguay that will forever be among the pantheon of great goals at football’s most prestigious tournament.
He did so after spending a solitary season at Monaco in which he scored nine goals and provided a further 12 assists.
Perhaps just as important for Madrid were the devilish good looks and an award-winning smile. Put simply, James was a marketing dream for one of the world’s most globally lucrative clubs.
And in Ancelotti, James had the perfect coach to utilise his talents.