James Rodriguez won’t play for Real Madrid again


James Rodriguez has played his last game for Real Madrid and is now in search of a new club, according to AS.

The Colombian was brought to Real on the back of fantastic performances at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with coach at the time Carlo Ancelotti deploying him as a number 10 in a 4-2-3-1 system. However, Ancelotti was sacked the following summer and the man who succeeded him, Rafa Benitez, lasted only six months. Zinedine Zidane was then appointed for the role for the first time, and the first change he made was to switch from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3, choosing to add the defensive prowess of Casemiro to the duo of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos and sacrifice James.

With his game time significantly reduced at the Santiago Bernabeu over the next 18 months, James joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan in the summer of 2017. At the end of the period, the Bundesliga champions had the option to turn the deal into a permanent one, but they decided against it. He has therefore spent the 2019/20 season back in Madrid, but with Zidane back in charge, his fortunes there did not improve.

The 29-year-old apparently asked Zidane to leave him out of the squad for Real’s La Liga clash with Athletic Bilbao on July 5th, and while the Frenchman agreed to that, it made him put his decision not to give James a chance beyond all doubt. The match played against Real Sociedad on June 21st will now be remembered as the last occasion when the attacking midfielder wore the famous white shirt.

James’ representatives are already working on finding him a new club. In the past, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Napoli, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain were all mentioned as his potential destinations, but of those, only PSG and Atletico appear still interested, with Arsenal being a fresh name in the mix.