Rodriguez ‘grateful’ to Everton and Ancelotti

James Rodriguez has expressed his gratitude to Carlo Ancelotti and Everton for giving him a chance to shine when no one else would.

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The attacker has had a tough couple of years in Europe. He signed for Real Madrid after the 2014 World Cup from Monaco in a deal worth around £63m.

He had an up-and-down time in Madrid, as he did not quite reach the heights he reached for Columbia at international level.

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The 29-year-old joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal in 2017 after scoring 36 times from 111 appearances for the Spanish giants.

He made 67 appearances for the German side in his two years at the club before he returned to Madrid for the 2019/20 campaign.

Rodriguez only made eight La Liga appearances last term, before he was allowed to join Everton this summer.

The midfielder has immediately hit the ground running with his new club, providing three goals and four assists from his seven outings in all competitions.

Rodriguez told BT Sport that he will always be grateful to the club and Ancelotti for this opportunity:

“Both [Everton and Ancelotti] trusted me when nobody did. I’ll forever be grateful to the club and to Carlo. That’s why I try to show my best in every game, that’s why I try to play at my highest level. This is what I want to do for the club.

“He’s a very easy-going person, knows how to treat players and how to get the most out of us. That’s why he worked along with all those great clubs, and now, with this new project, we expect him to do his best to achieve extraordinary things.

“I think we’ve got what we need to be [in the Champions League] next year.

“For qualifying, we need the willingness to play, we have to be hungry to succeed in every game. I believe all players need to have that same feeling. We need to follow the same path.

“Carlo Ancelotti is a king in terms of European football.”

It might well be the biggest weekend of the season so far. The two biggest title contenders finally clash in a long-awaited meeting, but will Leicester or Wolves come out on top? Liverpool also play Manchester City or something apparently.

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