West Ham United
12:00 PM UTC
Game Details

No recent activity

 By Mark Lovell

James Rodriguez: 'I'm here to win titles and improve' Bayern Munich

James Rodriguez has said he is "a winner" and has joined Bayern Munich to "make history." 

After passing a medical, the Colombia international, who celebrates his 26th birthday on Wednesday, signed a two-year loan deal with an option for a permanent transfer from Real Madrid in the summer of 2019.

"I'm very happy to be here and hope we can achieve our big targets," James said at his unveiling as a Bayern player.

After becoming a bit-part player in his final season in Madrid, James said he was prepared to compete for a regular spot in Munich.

"Everybody knows there are excellent players here and I'll have to fight hard for a starting place. I can play on the right, left or as a No. 10, but I will adhere to the coach's decision and play where he wants." he said.

Asked whether leaving the Champions League holders for Munich was a regressive move, he said: "No, it's not a backward step. It's a new direction and a new dream.

"It's a new life, a new target with an excellent team. I'm here to win titles and to improve the team. It will be a change for me. It's a beautiful city, a different culture and language. I will try to learn German.

"The Bundesliga is very attractive and I always watched Bayern games as a kid because it's a very big club. Bayern is an historic club and everybody knows what it represents on the world stage. I'm very proud to be only the second Colombian [after Adolfo Valencia] to play for Bayern. I want to make history here."

James Rodriguez has left Real Madrid to join Bayern Munich after three seasons in Spain.

He added: "Bayern are among the top three clubs in Europe."

Carlo Ancelotti said after being reunited with a player he signed when in charge of Madrid: "It's a special moment for me. We enjoyed great experiences together.

"Everyone knows his qualities and he will improve us. He is a great attacking midfielder and will find a good position in our team."

Ancelotti hopes to find a place in his team for a player who "can play in every attacking position."

But he warned: "Of course there's greater competition for places. However that should motivate everyone. It's not a problem for me to leave a player on the bench."

James was left out of Zinedine Zidane's Champions League final-winning squad, which saw Madrid become the first team to retain the trophy in the modern era.

Last season, the attacking midfielder managed 22 appearances in La Liga, including just 13 starts, and completed the full 90 minutes on only five occasions.

Nevertheless, Ancelotti felt the downturn in Spain should not hinder his chances of succeeding at Bayern.

"Every stage of your career, all the experiences can you help you grow as a player," he said. "He didn't play regularly last season but that can perhaps motivate him to have even more desire to achieve the breakthrough here."

If Bayern elect to make the deal permanent after his loan, CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed the Bundesliga champions could keep James at the club until 2022 on a three-year contract.

James will train with his new teammates for the first time on Wednesday and could make his debut in the Telekom Cup in Monchengladbach at the weekend.

He will wear the No. 11 shirt, which could become vacant when Douglas Costa completes his move to Juventus.

Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.