Xavi reveals he wanted James Rodriguez to join Barcelona over Real Madrid after 2014 World Cup exploits
- Xavi makes James admission
- Wanted Colombian at Barcelona
- Signed for Real Madrid after World Cup
WHAT HAPPENED? Once the key man in their midfield and now the club's manager and beacon of hope after a difficult few years, Xavi has sung the praises of Rodriguez, who spent six years with Real Madrid and faced off against Barcelona with regularity. He never truly hit the heights in the Spanish capital, though.
WHAT HE SAID: Speaking in an interview with Marca, Xavi made quite the claim about the Colombian: "I feel sorry that James Rodriguez played for Real Madrid and not for Barcelona.
“James has always shown quality and talent to make a difference," he added on the former Real man, while also praising his left foot and the "tremendous goals (he scored) from close range or long range."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Rodriguez put all eyes on him when setting the World Cup alight for Colombia in 2014, earning himself a big-money move to Real after the tournament as a result. His time in the capital started brightly, but James faded out of the picture over the years and never quite became the player many expected him to be, despite leaving in 2020 as a two-time Champions League and La Liga winner.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR XAVI/RODRIGUEZ? For Xavi, the Barcelona legend early awaits the end of the World Cup so he can gather his players once more and continue with their La Liga title charge. Rodriguez, meanwhile, wasn't in Qatar and is instead plying his trade in Greece with Olympiakos.