Rodriguez is no flash in the pan though – he signed for Monaco last summer from Porto for a fee of €45m and finished the season with nine goals and 12 assists in 34 appearances.
But did the French think they were watching an €80m player last season? Or have Real been seduced by a few good World Cup performances?
We asked Vincent Bregevin from Eurosport France for his thoughts on the transfer.
The €80m transfer fee seems to be bit expensive to us in France. €60m seems like it would have been a fairer price so I guess that the World Cup made about €20m difference.
It is not crazy money given his quality though – James really is a top class player but the timing of the deal means Real have to pay the highest price.
James had a difficult start in France but he ended up being the best individual player in Ligue 1 last season alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic at PSG.
He's the main reason why Monaco finished second in their first season back in Ligue 1.
Forgetting about his transfer value for a moment, his performances alone with Monaco made us all feel that he was at a high enough level to play for one of the best teams in the world – and now he has secured his big move after his incredible World Cup.
Real Madrid have bought a player that can play in a number of positions. He is comfortable on both wings, as a playmaker or as a second forward behind a striker.
He might fit in a 4-2-3-1 formation behind Benzema, as Ronaldo and Bale won't move from the wings.
They have signed an excellent player but I don't think he is a player they really needed. They already have good dribblers with Ronaldo and Bale, and good creative midfielders with Kroos and Modric.
That's before I even start talking about Di Maria, one of their best players last season, who might leave due to James's signing.
Another thing I would like to know is how Real Madrid can afford to sign him when they signed Gareth Bale last summer and have debts of around €500m?
There doesn't seem to be any concern about Real Madrid getting into Financial Fair Play trouble. They seem to be above the law in football.
You can follow Vincent on Twitter: (@VB_eurosport)
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