The 22-year-old Colombia international scored both goals, including a volley that may prove to be the goal of the tournament, to seal a 2-0 win over Uruguay at the Maracana and a place in the World Cup quarter-finals.
The double in Rio took the Monaco forward to the top of the Golden Boot table with five goals in four games and set up a mouth-watering last-eight tie with hosts Brazil next Friday.
The Monaco attacking midfielder could not have failed to catch the eye of Europe's biggest clubs and he fuelled transfer speculation by confessing that he would love to play in La Liga in the future.
"I would love to play in Spain," said James. "It would be a dream to play there - it is the best league in the world."
When pushed on his favoured destination, he told Cadena Cope: "I prefer Madrid to Barcelona."
James was delighted with his side's performance against Uruguay and is looking forward to see his nation continue to impress the watching world with their performances this summer.
"I'm happy because we won and we are through," he continued.
"There's no chance to value what I'm doing - maybe when this is over. Now you have to try to play every game like it's your last.
"But it is historic - a dream come true for me. I always wanted to score in the Maracana and now I have.
"Uruguay had a lot of men behind the ball, so we needed plenty of movement up front and we got it. Now things are going to get harder but I believe we can go a long way."
The South American duo helped to fire the Stade Louis II club to Champions League football this season with a second place Ligue 1 finish and, if James is not sold, he is bound to get a chance to impress on the European stage in 2014-15.