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Transfer Rater: Hazard to Real Madrid

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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

James Rodriguez rebuts accusations to help Real Madrid in Betis draw

Midfielder James Rodriguez, who started in Real Madrid's 1-1 draw away to Real Betis on Sunday, has refuted claims regarding his lack of professional and off-pitch problems.

The Colombian has failed to make an impact at the Santiago Bernabeu this season, with reports pointing to his penchant for fast cars and nightlife coming into question.

Despite all the issues surrounding him in recent times, James played a starring role against Betis, setting up Karim Benzema for a 71st minute equaliser to salvage a point for the Los Blancos.

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Reacting to weight-gain claims, the 24-year-old said: "The talk really bothers me. Everyone who is close to me knows how I act and that I always look to take good care of myself,

"I'm a great professional. What's been said about me going out a lot at night is a lie. It p***** me off that people doubt me and say I am fat."

He also went on to rebut claims that he was being chased all the way to training by the Spanish police on Jan. 1 for driving at 200 kmh.

"I was not going as fast as everyone says. I had loud music on and when I arrived [at training] I saw they were behind," said the midfielder.

"It was acknowledged I could have gone slower. As usual with the press, everything is bigger. But if I see someone behind me, I stop. I'm not stupid.

"But I apologise, because I also make mistakes."

Rodriguez played in Real Madrid's 1-1 draw away to Real Betis on Sunday.

James' problems continued last week during Madrid's 5-1 thrashing of Sporting Gijon when he apparently went against Zinedine Zidane's request to warm-up, although he clarified that it was a misunderstanding.

"I did not know I had to keep warming up, I just didn't hear. If he tells me to go, I go," James said.

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