Valderrama hails James as on the level of Messi and Neymar
Photo: Real Madrid

Former Colombia international Carlos Valederrama has said he believes that James Rodriguez is on the same level as Lionel Messi and Neymar.

The Colombia legend made 111 appearances for Los Cafeteros in his 13 years in the national side.

Ahead of Colombia's first match in the 2015 Copa America against Venezuela, Valderrama said that he is "not surprised" that James "has done so well this season at Real Madrid,”

James was in stunning form in last year's World Cup in Brazil and Colombia unexpectedly reached the quarter-finals of the competition, where they were knocked out by the hosts.

He scored six times for Tricolor in the biggest football tournament in the world and Valderrama says that this season "he has proved the form he showed at the World Cup was not temporary."

Continuing on from that theme, Valderrama says "he is just 22-years-old but had an extraordinary debut season in La Liga."

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Neymar and Lionel Messi were the golden boys of the Champions League winning Barcelona side. Yet it is Real Madrid player James who will be challenging to be "the star of the Copa América" according to Valderrama who says "James is at that level."

Colombia go into the Copa America looking for a surprise second win in the South American tournament. The only time they have lifted the trophy was when they hosted the tournament in 2001.

Los Cafeteros will begin their path to possible success in Chile with their opening match against Venezuela on Sunday June 14th, which will be aired live on YouTube at 8:00PM in the United Kingdom.