James‘ 'masterpiece' against Mainz

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After the final whistle James Rodríguez took the ball and refused to give it away when he and his team-mates completed a lap of honour at the Allianz Arena. The fans hailed the Bavarians after their strong display in the 6-0 victory over FSV Mainz on Matchday 26. The Colombian stood out on Sunday. It was the first time the midfield maestro scored three goals in one match in a European pro league. The 27-year-old deserved to take the ball home.

"The hat-trick was really nice for me, so I took the ball," James commented on his blistering display. The 2014 World Cup top scorer only needed 19 minutes for his three goals, finding the net after 32, 38 and 50 minutes, downing Mainz almost single-handedly. However, he refused to overestimate his role in the victory: "It's a great memory but it was a really good team display."

First hat-trick in a European pro league

His coach was full of praise for James. "He did an outstanding job, and not only because he scored the three goals," declared Niko Kovac. "He demanded the ball, he spread it around, he switched play and made his opponents move. That's what we need," explained the 47-year-old.

Bayern have reclaimed top spot in the league, in no small part due to James' current form. The midfielder extended a personal streak against FSV. He has been involved in Bayern goals in four Bundesliga matches in a row, scoring a total of four and setting up two goals. "He's highly dangerous when he joins in. He's got a great left foot," said an impressed Manuel Neuer. James aims to build on Sunday's performance: "I'm very happy about my first hat-trick. I hope more will follow!"

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