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James Rodriguez's Bayern Munich move best for all parties

Friday 14th July 2017
James Rodriguez finally ended his Real Madrid misery by joining Bayern Munich on a two-year-long loan deal. With an option for a permanent move on the table, the deal could eventually turn out to be a win-win situation for all parties involved.
The ordeal of James Rodriguez in the Spanish capital drew sympathy from everyone who truly appreciates genuine talent. Signed for around £70 million from Monaco, the attacking midfielder was heralded as the poster boy of the new Galacticos era. And indeed, he possessed all the requisite qualities that fit the bill. A Charming look, intimidating aura and top-notch skill set to go with it.

It was now down to the Colombian to prove his mettle on the pitch of play. And he actually did that effortlessly. James started his Madrid career like a house on fire scoring four goals in his first 10 games. He went on to find the back of the net 11 other times, setting up an extra 18 in 46 competitive fixtures. Certainly a respectable return for any player; especially one who isn't his team's top marksman.

Then, came the watershed. Carlo Ancelotti was forced out at the end of the season, and James somehow failed to earn the same trust from his successor, Rafael Benitez. Ultimately suffering a startling fall from grace, languishing on the bench for long periods. A once commanding dazzler suddenly lost the tactical improvisatory that helped shoehorn all the stars into a functional collective.

And things got even worst when Zinedine Zidane came on board. Last season, he managed 22 appearances in La Liga - with only 13 starts - and completed a mere five games over the full 90 minutes: against Villarreal, Granada, Deportivo La Coruna (twice) and Sporting Gijon. A glaring sign that the end was near. Although he occasionally showed flashes of his brilliance, it was seemingly not enough to win Zidane over. Perhaps,  the final nail in the doomed Madrid coffin came when he was left out of the Champions League final squad.

A new beginning for James

For James, it has always been about the beautiful game and nothing else. "From my childhood the thing I remember best is that I always wanted a ball, I was always thinking about playing football," he said. Now he has the chance to enjoy the game he loves, rebuilding both his reputation and form in a year when Colombia hope to make an impact at the World Cup.

The prospect of linking up with Ancelotti, the man who brought him to Spain, was also another incentive.  "James Rodriguez was Carlo Ancelotti's wish after both worked successfully together in Madrid," said Bayern's executive board chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Good business for Bayern

From the perspective of the German champions, the deal appears to be a bargain on two fronts. First, in terms of the fee, the Bavarians have certainly profited, after reportedly agreeing to pay Los Blancos £4.4 million annually as loan fee whilst the option to buy the player at any point comes in at a modest £31 million. Bayern is also aware of the impact a player of James' calibre can have at the Allianz Arena. It's a known fact that there aren't much better, well-rounded attacking midfielders around the game who can create and score as many as James - at least when on form.

At AS Monaco and early Madrid days, he operated in the hole from the tip of a diamond midfield and comfortably slotted at the flanks few times. In a side like Bayern, who enjoys a monopoly of possession almost every time they play, the Colombian will thrive and can become a world-class player once again.

Madrid with nothing to lose

Why keep an utterly unhappy player? For Real Madrid, it was about getting a fringe player off their massive wage bill not to mention eventually recouping part of what they paid. The move to Bayern solved both. Madrid knew James' value is at its lowest point and selling him this summer was always going to be tough. But if he manages to impress in Germany, the Spanish side will be able to reclaim part of the huge sum they invested in him.
Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 

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