Real Madrid star James Rodriguez said he was happy to stay at the club and fight for his place after scoring twice in Wednesday night’s 3-0 Copa del Rey last 16 first leg at home to Sevilla.
James scored Madrid’s first goal of 2017 with an early 20 yard curler, and then got his second from the penalty spot just before half-time, with Raphael Varane also on the scoresheet as a previously in-form Sevilla side were steamrolled at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
It was quite a turnaround for James from Los Blancos’ last game of 2016 — when the €80 million 2014 signing spent the Club World Cup final watching glumly on the bench and afterwards suggested to reporters that he was keen to move elsewhere to get more playing time.
In much happier mood tonight the Colombia international told BeIn Sports after the final whistle that he had been through some bad moments but now just wanted to play and contribute to the team.
“I just want to play well when I get the chance, to be able to do good things like today, and to be able to help by scoring goals or giving assists,” James said. “That is what everybody wants. Obviously everyone in the team always wants to play, we all go through bad moments, and now it is a new year and a new life.”
Pushed as to what would happen next, with reports having circulated recently of a possible January move to Chelsea or Inter Milan, James responded quickly.
“I am staying, I am staying.”
James was one of a number of lesser-used players chosen by Zinedine Zidane, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema rested, and Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos among those missing injured.
“We played well despite the missing players,” James said. “The most important thing is that the team played well, with a lot of intensity. The result is good for the return leg, although we must be focused there and go for it with everything.”
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