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2014 World Cup star talks about choosing Real Madrid over Man City, PSG: “I wanted glory”

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

James Rodriguez will go down in history with one of the best World Cup campaigns of all time in 2014.

He spent the prime of his playing days at Porto, Monaco, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich before tapering off at Al-Rayyan, Olympiakos, and his current club, Sao Paulo.

During his time in Madrid, he made over 85 appearances for the team, winning the UEFA Champions League twice, the FIFA Club World Cup thrice and La Liga twice.

The Colombian superstar moved to Real Madrid in the summer of 2014 after a very successful World Cup campaign in Brazil. He spoke to Mundo Deportivo about his move to the club and revealed that two other European giants were interested in his signing.

“PSG and Manchester City loved me, but I wanted glory, I wanted Real Madrid. There is nothing like Real Madrid. The City, Madrid and Paris came together. The other two teams offered a higher contract and in the end the one who convinced me was the president.”

Elaborating on the role Florentino Perez played in his transfer to Madrid, Rodriguez recalled the exact words the Real Madrid president presented in his bid to lure the player to Spain.

“He told me: ‘What do you want, pasta (silver) or glory?’ And I told him: ‘No, I want glory, president.’ ‘Well, it’s done,’ he told me.”

He then went on to relive his days in Madrid, the phenomenal numbers he churned up at the club and admitted that it was among the best years of his career.

“I think that the three seasons I was good, I scored a lot of goals, only the first one was very good. In the three seasons I was there I made 40 goals and 42 assists. In the first one I scored 17 goals and 18 passes.”

“[They were great numbers] for a midfielder. But I had three guys who scored 40 goals each and left me only one goal. They were Bale, Karim and Cristiano who scored 65 goals a year,” he added on how he was overshadowed by the greats in the team.

The club legend also jokingly recalled the memories of how he was starstruck by the big names in the Real Madrid dressing room at the time and how he planned ploys to present himself as an equally imposing figure.

“I got to that locker room and said: ‘What a bunch of stars’. I was 23 years old and I said: ‘Well, if they tell me anything, I was a World Cup scorer’. No, lies, I was always calm, I never wanted to mess with anyone, all good people with me.”

“I say that when you play with good people everything is much easier. Everything flows. If you’re good, you already think you’re top,” he added on the quality the team during his playing days.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid superstar the No. 1 footballer currently, says Spain manager

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Speaking in an interview with Vamos (h/t Mundo Deportivo), Spain manager Luis de la Fuente has acknowledged that Real Madrid ace Jude Bellingham is the No. 1 footballer in the world currently.

Bellingham has enjoyed a spectacular debut season at Real Madrid and has been one of their chief protagonists as the Merengues won the La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup titles and made it to the UCL finals.

Even though his form has somewhat dipped in the latter stages of the season, the England international remains integral to Carlo Ancelotti’s plans and one of Los Blancos’ most important players.

And Spain manager Luis de la Fuente expressed his admiration for Bellingham, saying:

“He is a player who is doing particularly well. It’s a subjective view, but I like Bellingham’s style a lot, I like that type of player, powerful….”

When asked if Bellingham is the No. 1 player in the world at the moment, De la Fuente replied in the affirmative, as he said: “I think so.”

Bellingham has played 40 times in all competitions for Real Madrid this season, racking up a total of 23 goals and 12 assists in the process.

The 20-year-old’s exploits with Los Blancos in his debut campaign have put him in contention for the Ballon d’Or this year.

A strong performance in the finals of the UEFA Champions League next month and a solid run with England at the UEFA Euro 2024 could further his chances of winning the Golden Ball, although his teammate Vinicius Jr. is also an equally strong contender.

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