When James was struggling to get into Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid lineup, it was a disappointment for those who had so enjoyed the player’s incredible performances in the 2014 World Cup.
That tournament made Rodriguez a true star, as his 6 goals propelled his national team Colombia to a surprise quarter-final, only losing out narrowly 2-1 against Brazil. He ended it as the tournament top scorer and in the team of the tournament.
Wishing to secure yet another Galactico, a move to Real Madrid from Monaco immediately followed and he was an initial success, providing both a good number of goals and assists from the midfield.
In 2016/2017, however, Rodriguez’s game time was reduced as Zidane preferred Casemiro and Isco to his presence. It was a blow for such a talented player but his initial loan move to Bayern Munich last summer has renewed him and recently he’s looked back on top form.
He moved on a 2-year loan deal with the option to buy at the end of this for Bayern but there has already been some talk about the transfer being made permanent earlier than expected.
Here are 3 reasons why Rodriguez might not want to – and probably shouldn’t – return to Real Madrid.
A Chance to Settle & Be Consistent
Rodriguez turns 27 this July and is coming into what should be his peak years. It’s the ideal time for a player to settle down and find the perfect club for his needs and it just seems highly unlikely that Madrid can offer this.
He may get another year in the first team back at the club, certainly, but Perez would just keep signing replacements and challenging his position. Bayern Munich looks like a far better proposition.\
The player has spoken a great deal about how happy he is in Bavaria and how settled he is off the pitch, which is vitally important.
In truth, James never seemed to have the big personality sometimes needed to be a true Galactico; away from the frenetic energy of Madrid life, Munich seems to suit him better and his performances have improved accordingly.
Bayern isn’t as prone to over-stocking their squad as Madrid, meaning he could be the main star for the club for the foreseeable future.
Icons like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, both potential competitors, are getting older by the day and tiring, and won’t be around for much longer.
In his favored position, attacking midfield, he is by far the best option at Bayern, and being one of the main men again may suit the player. He thrived at Porto and Monaco in this role and perhaps the added responsibility is what Rodriguez likes.
Real Madrid’s Managerial Chaos
Rodriguez’s best season at the club was his first when Carlo Ancelotti was in charge. The Italian signed him and took a liking to him, and the relationship worked well for both parties.
When he departed and first Rafael Benitez and then Zidane took over, Rodriguez’s game time and performances began to fluctuate.
Benitez’s time at the helm was marked by the inconsistency and frustration, with Rodriguez, not the only one discontented with life at Madrid.
While Zidane has enjoyed amazing success in his first managerial role, Rodriguez was a peripheral figure, performing well when called upon but never being the main man.
The team has struggled this season and his position as head looks shaky, given Madrid’s terrible league performances.
It’s a big if considering the strength of the competition this season, but if Madrid were to win the Champions League this season, then the Frenchman would almost certainly be granted a reprieve.
If that be the case, Rodriguez wouldn’t want to return for sure. Even if a new manager was brought in replacing him, however, Madrid’s chaotic managerial situation just doesn’t suit some footballers and Rodriguez seems like one: the Colombian appears to be someone who thrives when he knows he’s appreciated by his manager, that he’s a favorite, and can just focus on his football.
Rodriguez has looked renewed under the German, thanks to his manager’s clear trust in his abilities. While Heynckes is only temporarily in charge, Bayern doesn’t have the same propensity to change managers so frequently, meaning whoever is next in charge will likely be for a while at least.
Chances Of Success At Bayern
Both Madrid and Bayern are used to success and expect it, but moving forward, the clearest path lies in Germany. As it stands, Bayern is an unbelievable 19 points clear of Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga; Madrid is 14 points off Barcelona in La Liga in contrast.
This will be Bayern’s 6th league title in a row, and it just seems like there’s no one capable of truly challenging them.
Dortmund has faded since Jurgen Klopp’s time in charge and RB Leipzig is an intriguing alternative but has just sold Naby Keita to Liverpool with Timo Werner likely to follow. All players crave trophies so the chance to win virtually guaranteed league titles will attract Rodriguez.
He does, of course, have 2 Champions League winners medal from his time at Madrid but he never had a main role in either of these successes in 2016 and 2017.
To be able to be directly responsible, then, for Bayern winning that same trophy would also be appealing. The club looks well placed to challenge for the trophy this season, with their 5-0 hammering of Besiktas, a warning signal to the rest of the teams.
Being the main attacking midfielder at a club winning league titles and consistently challenging in Europe would entice any player and he is no different.