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Colombian top-flight club Envigado, where James Rodriguez made his breakthrough, have been placed on a blacklist for alleged ties to a drug cartel.

The US Treasury Department has frozen all its assets and barred Americans from doing business with the club and its owner, Juan Pablo Upequi.

Upequi is accused of using the football club as a front to launder money on behalf of the “Office of Envigado”, a cocaine-trafficking organization that inherited the underworld connections of Pablo Escobar’s Medellin cartel.

Envigado are the second Colombian club to be placed on the blacklist. Cali-based side America were removed from the list last year.

Rodriguez, who signed for Real in a £60million deal this summer, came through the club’s academy and made his debut for their first-team aged just 15 in 2007.

Even before that, at the age of 10, people in Colombia were already aware of the youngster’s precious talent.

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