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Rodriguez, 100-1 with bookmakers to finish top scorer before the start of the tournament, scored six goals in five games as Colombia reached the quarterfinals before losing 2-1 to Brazil.
The Monaco attacker scored in all three of Colombia's Group C wins, including a double in the 4-1 victory against Japan.
He also netted against Uruguay in the round of 16 and from the spot in the defeat against the hosts.
Gracias a Dios. A todos ustedes por la fuerza que hicieron. Y a mis compañeros de selección que lo hicieron posible. pic.twitter.com/pkoIjyBjjE
- James Rodríguez (@jamesdrodriguez) July 13, 2014Although he was not in Rio de Janeiro to collect his trophy in person he tweeted to say: "Thanks to God. To all of you for your strength. And my teammates who made it possible."
In 399 minutes on the pitch Rodriguez scored six times and assisted a further two, playing a key role in eight of Colombia's 15 goals at the tournament.
That form has seen him linked with a transfer from Monaco to Real Madrid.
Germany's Thomas Muller finished runner-up with five goals, for a second successive World Cup, while Neymar, Lionel Messi and Robin van Persie all scored four times.
Rodriguez was also shortlisted for the Golden Ball award for the best player at the 2014 World Cup although he missed out to Argentina's Messi.
The Golden Boot Goes To
ESPN FC's Craig Burley gives his take on James Rodriguez winning the Golden Boot.
The rhythm of the game
In the beginning there was rhythm, the signature of creation infused into all phenomenon. Rhythm varies by culture, setting itself apart from every other.