James: Why I Left Real For Bayern
James Rodriguez: Why I Left Real Madrid For Bayern Munich
Former Real Madrid star James Rodriguez has revealed why he decided to leave Los Blancos and join Bayern Munich on loan.
The 26-year-old joined the Spanish giants for €75 million (R1.14 billion) – Real's third-biggest outlay for a new signing – in 2014, but left after just three seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, joining Bayern on a two-year loan deal.
"Bayern are just as big a club as Real Madrid, if not bigger," Rodriguez told Sport Bild.
"I've always had great respect for the club.
"When I was weighing up whether to come here, I took a look at the squad and I thought: 'There are just as many star names here as there are in Madrid. The quality is pretty much the same.'"
The Colombian also revealed that Carlo Ancelotti played on important role in his decision after the Italian lured him to Spain in 2014.
"We didn't work together for the past two years but we always stayed in touch, and that was good for me," Rodriguez added.
"I missed him as a trainer. It's fun working with him and I'm glad we're reunited."
Overall, James scored 36 goals and assisted another 41 strikes in 111 appearances for Real, lifting seven trophies during his time in Spain.
Bayern will apparently transfer €5 million (R76 million) per season to Real, and have a €40 million (R611 million) purchase option for Rodriguez in 2019.
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