Created on 2017-07-12 at 14:05 PM
Feliz cumpleaños, James Rodríguez! The 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner received much more than some presents and a cake on his 26th birthday. He got “a new challenge, a new culture, a new language, a new life”, as he put it. Or in short: a contract at FC Bayern.
“I’m happy to be here,” said James, who was smartly dressed in a suit and tie for his first press conference at the Allianz Arena. “I come here with a lot of desire and hunger to achieve things. Bayern are a team with tradition that always want to win. I’m also a winner and I want to write history here.”
Cameras and reporters from all over the world observed the Colombian’s first public appearance as a Bayern player. Sat in between Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Carlo Ancelotti, he dealt with it in a charming way. Just a few hours beforehand, he’d signed a two-year loan deal (until 30 June 2019) at Säbener Straße. FC Bayern also have the option to buy James for a further three years at the end of his loan.
Reunion with Ancelotti
Ancelotti put forward the idea of signing the attacking midfielder a few months ago having worked successfully with him at Real Madrid during the 2014/15 season. “We’re very happy that a deal’s been agreed,” said Rummenigge. The FCB CEO was also pleased “that the whole thing was financially very acceptable.”
“It’s a special moment. I’m very happy that James is here today,“ said Ancelotti. The 58 year-old described the Colombian as a “very reserved person” and a “great attacking midfielder”, adding: “His quality will be evident very quickly. I’m confident we’ll improve with him.”
The FCB head coach remains open as to where exactly he plans to play James. “He can play everywhere. Right, in the middle, left. He’ll find his position,” said the Italian. “I play where the coach wants me to,” commented James, who looks back fondly on his season under Ancelotti. “I wanted to work with him again. We have a good relationship and he pushed hard to get me here.”
At the same time, the left-footer is also aware that he’ll have to fight for his place in Munich. “FC Bayern are among the top three sides in Europe. You always have to work hard for a first-team place, and I’ll be doing that. I want to help the team to win trophies,” he stressed. Ancelotti revealed James could even play a part in this Saturday’s Telekom Cup, although he’ll wait to see how training goes first.
James David Rodríguez Rubio, to give him his full name, is not the first Colombian to play for Bayern. Adolfo Valencia wore the red shirt from 1993-1995. “I’m very proud to be the second Colombian to play here,” said James. He told reporters that he used to follow FCB games as a child, and finds the Bundesliga “very attractive.”
Consulted Toni Kroos
The captain of the Colombian national team also asked his Madrid teammate and former Munich man Toni Kroos about FC Bayern. “I asked him about the club and about the city. He said to me it’s a fantastic city and a great club.” Now he wants to feel at home in Munich, and for that he’ll “of course try to learn German.” He’s also looking for somewhere to live, and as soon as he does his wife and daughter will follow him.
Rummenigge hopes his new signing will “feel happy here in Munich, because then he’ll automatically have a certain number of goals and assists. We’re convinced he gives the team a bit of added quality.” On top of that, Rummenigge thinks James is a boost for FC Bayern’s image across the world. “He’s also good-looking – so I’ve heard from my wife and daughters.” So, James Rodríguez is all set for a successful spell in Munich. And he did get a birthday cake after the unveiling.
You can order James’ number 11 shirt now from the Online Shop!