The Associated Press After capturing the world’s attention with his stunning goal for Colombia against Uruguay at the 2014 World Cup, no limits could be set for James Rodriguez.
Now, three seasons later, he’s leaving Real Madrid under a cloud of frustration, deemed surplus to requirements at the Spanish side and looking for a second chance in a loan spell at Bayern Munich.
The Bundesliga side hopes that Carlo Ancelotti, who was in charge in Madrid when Rodriguez joined, will again be able to get the best from a player who undoubtedly has the talent to count among the world’s best.
“Signing James Rodriguez was our coach Carlo Ancelotti’s biggest wish, following their successful spell working together in Madrid,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said as the club announced James’ arrival on Tuesday.
Bayern signed the 25-year-old Rodriguez on a two-year loan arrangement with an option to make the move permanent.
Already well-known after three seasons at Porto and one at Monaco, the goal at the World Cup — in which he took the ball on his chest and swiveled before smashing a brilliant volley in off the underside of the bar — catapulted Rodriguez to stardom. He scored again in that game, too, and finished as the tournament’s top scorer with six altogether.
Rodriguez was suddenly being compared to superstars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and was touted as a future Ballon d’Or winner, the trophy then given to the world’s best player.
Real Madrid certainly thought so, splashing out some €80 million ($91 million) to take the then 22-year-old from Monaco. He was given the prestigious No. 10 jersey, previously worn by the likes of Luis Figo and the Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas.
Rodriguez enjoyed a stellar first season at Madrid under Ancelotti, scoring 17 goals and setting up 18 more in 46 competitive games in 2014-15, despite time sidelined with a broken metatarsal.
Ancelotti was forced to leave at the end of the season, however, and Rodriguez failed to earn the same trust from his successor Zinedine Zidane.
Rodriguez simply found himself to be a star too many. He didn’t even make the substitutes’ bench for the Champions League final win over Juventus in June.
Teen keeper extends Milan deal
MILAN (AP) — AC Milan’s teenage goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has agreed to extend his contract with the Serie A club until 2021.
The talented 18-year-old turned down a new deal last month and would have been a free agent at the end of next season. But on Tuesday, Milan announced it had reached an agreement with Donnarumma, saying he would sign a new four-year contract the following morning.
Key to the deal is the signing of Donnarumma’s older brother Antonio, also a goalkeeper.
The new contract will reportedly see the younger Donnarumma earn €6 million per season ($7 million) and contains a release clause worth approximately €70 million.