There is no doubt who the star of the World Cup has been so far, with five goals in four games for Colombia, James Rodriguez has lit up the tournament and has also scored a contender for goal of the tournament.

So, any team who passed up the opportunity to sign him for a token fee when he was a teenager must be kicking themselves, just ask Manchester United.

The man who simply has "James" written on the back of his shirt scored both his country's goals in their victorious last 16 clash with Uruguay, the first an exquisite volley after controlling on his chest that demonstrated the level of skill and ability that this young man has.

The 22-year-old, who currently plays his club football in France for Monaco, also scored the second in Colombia's 2-0 victory which took his tally to five goals in four games for the tournament so far.

Colombia have been the entertainers in Brazil so far, with fast flowing attacking football and some fantastic dance moves, I am sure that many neutrals are now on their side. 

'James' runs the show in the middle of the field, with superb composure on the ball and an eye for a pass, he is a constant threat to conjure up an opportunity and also has the ability to ghost into the box to score himself.

He has had a very good first season at Monaco, notching 10 goals and 12 assists in Ligue 1 after his £36 million (€45 million) move from Porto.

Since his rise to stardom at this World Cup, he has started being linked to Europe's top clubs despite a massive money move just last season. However, it is the story that explains Manchester United passed on the opportunity to sign him when he was just an 18-year-old for a fee as low as £5 million. 

A report in The Guardian states that United were attempting to secure the signing of Javier Hernandez from Guadalajara when scouts representing Rodriguez approached them about taking him from Argentinian club Banfield to Europe.

They received no response from Manchester United and it would appear that they then signed Bebe instead who has gone on to be a very unsuccessful transfer.

Rodriguez subsequently moved to Porto in Portugal for £4 million with 30% of his image rights staying with a third party. He was part of the unbeaten Porto side managed by Andre Villas-Boas that went on to win every trophy available. 

There will always be players that slipped though the net with clubs and it is almost impossible to say with any certainty whether a player with potential will go on to achieve the things that Rodriguez has so far. However, this does have to go down as an opportunity missed by United, and they will surely be one of the frontrunners if he were to become available again.

Unfortunately for them, they will end up having to pay an awful lot more than £5 million.

Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Topics:
Manchester United
Maxi Rodriguez
Football