James Rodríguez and the key question Florentino Pérez asked to get him to Real Madrid
The Colombian joined Los Blancos in the summer of 2014, when PSG and Manchester City also bid heavily for the midfielder. He ended up winning two Champions Leagues.
James Rodríguez became the latest of the ‘Galácticos’ signed by Florentino Pérez after his stand-out performances at the World Cup. The Colombian surprised everyone in Brazil 2014, and the president of Real Madrid didn’t hesitate to snap him up for his high-profile collection of stars. James belonged to Monaco at the time, and there were two other clubs, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, that were interested in acquiring the midfielder. As we know, the player decided to join Los Blancos, adding more quality to a team that had just become the champions of Europe. Pérez had to invest 75 million euros (c.$81m) to secure his departure from the French side and bring him to the Santiago Bernabéu.
Why James chose Madrid over PSG and Man City
Almost 10 years later, the Colombian has opened up on Pelicanger’s Twitch about how that signing was secured by the Spanish president.
“PSG and City both wanted me,” James explained. “Both teams came with more significant offers than Madrid, but I wanted glory; I wanted Real Madrid.
“There’s nothing like Real Madrid. Florentino Pérez called me and said to convince me: ‘What do you want, money or glory?’ and then I told him that I wanted glory. He replied, ‘Well, it’s done’.”
James in Madrid
The Colombian’s time at Madrid can be divided into two phases. In the first year, right after arriving, James managed to win over the entire audience with an outstanding performance, scoring 17 goals and providing 18 assists under Carlo Ancelotti’s management. With Zinedine Zidane taking over the helm in January 2016, the midfielder gradually lost prominence in the starting lineup, eventually leading to a loan move to Bayern Munich in 2017 to secure the playing time he lacked.
Two years later, he returned to the Spanish capital for a second chance but failed to convince, ultimately having to leave without succeeding at the club he loved.
Where James went after Madrid
After Madrid, he went through Everton, Al-Rayyan SC in Qatar, Olympiakos, and now Sao Paulo, his current team. The Colombian was never the same since Zidane took charge.
The midfielder’s contract with the Brazilian team is set to expire now, and it seems that they may not offer him a renewal. At 32 years old, James could once again find himself without a team and an uncertain future. The one who once chose Madrid for his dream now struggles to find his place.