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James Rodriguez: “In 2014, both PSG and City wanted me, but I wanted glory with Madrid”

The midfielder confessed why he signed for Real Madrid in 2014 despite having more lucrative offers. “Florentino Perez told me: ‘What do you want, money or glory?’” the Colombian recalled.

James Rodriguez: “In 2014, both PSG and City wanted me, but I wanted glory with Madrid”
MIGUEL RIOPAAFP

In July 2014, more than 9 years ago, James Rodríguez signed with the of the highest profile football clubs in the world. After a glowing performance in the World Cup in Brazil, the midfielder joined Real Madrid for a fee of 75 million euros. The Colombian playmaker left Monaco and arrived at the Santiago Bernabéu as a star signing ahead of the 2014-15 season.

Madrid were not the only club interested in signing him that summer with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City other would-be suitors. The player himself has acknowledged that the financial proposals of these two clubs were more lucrative but a conversation with Florentino Pérez (president of Real Madrid) was key in convincing him to move to the Spanish capital.

“PSG and City both wanted me. Both teams came with more lucrative offers but I wanted glory, I wanted Real Madrid. There is nothing like Real Madrid,” James confessed on Pelicanger’s Twitch channel.

And he added: “Florentino Pérez called me and asked me: ‘What do you want, money or glory?’ and then I answered that what I wanted was glory. He answered: ‘Well, then, it’s done.”

On 22 July, 2014, James was officially presented as a Real Madrid footballer. That day, the Colombian, who shone at the World Cup pulled on the famous white shirt for the first time at the Bernabéu, in front of more than 40,000 spectators at his presentation.

Colombia's midfielder James Rodriguez
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Colombia's midfielder James Rodriguez NORBERTO DUARTEAFP

James Rodríguez, from Madrid to Brazil

In his first season, the midfielder dazzled under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti. He scored 17 goals, gave 18 assists, established himself as a starter and was one of the key figures of that campaign. However, from the second year onwards, with Rafa Benítez as coach and the subsequent arrival of Zinedine Zidane on the bench, he lost his place in the starting XI and eventually in 2017 went on loan to Bayern Munich.

After two years in Germany, James returned for his second stage in Madrid, but he could not convince Zidane and in 2020 moved to Everton in England. In his time with the Bernabeu side, the Colombian played 125 games, scored 37 goals and won 9 titles with Los Blancos.

After spells in Qatar and Greece, James now plys his trade in the Brazilian top flight with Sao Paulo.