James Rodriguez has officially made his return to Real Madrid’s match day squad for the first time in two years.
The Colombian number 10 who was black listed by coach Zinedine Zidane, last featured for Los Blancos 816 days ago before leaving for German Champions, Bayern Munich on a two-year loan.
Despite performing well for the Bavarians, scoring 14 goals and 14 assists in 43 league games, his services weren’t retained as he also fell out with the hierarchy in Munich.
With two years still left off his Madrid contract, James failed to make any appeareance during their pre-season games fuelling rumours that he’s still black listed by Zidane and would be sold before the start of the new season.
According to reports, offers came in for the colombian midfielder, but that of Napoli failed to meet the club’s valuations while they are reluctant to ship him to rival side and neighbors, Atletico Madrid.
Injury forces Zidane to reconsider:
Since the start of pre-season, injuries haven’t been kind on Real Madrid with the growing hitlist rising to seven players, with attackers being the most affected.
Real lost Asensio to a season ending cruciate ligament damage during pre-season and also saw the likes of Jovic, Brahim Diaz, Thibaut Courtois and Ferland Mendy join the list of injured players. Just recently, newly acquired attackers, Rodrygo Goes and Belgium star, Eden Hazard also got sidelined due to various injury issues.
These lingering and growing list might force Zidane to go against his initial plan and reintegrating James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale into his squad.
During his pre-match press conference, he admitted that he initially wanted them to leave, but he now counts on them despite admitting anything could still happen before the end of European transfer window (September 2).
It seemed like Bale was leaving and now he is here with us. I will count on him, like the other players. He is an important player.
On James Rodriguez, the french man said that he is in great form and that he is happy to have him in the squad.
James, Bale and Brahim Diaz return to match squad:
Zidane’s 22-man shortlist released for the trip to Belaidos in Madrid’s first league game against Celta saw the inclusion of James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale which further fuels the notion that injury crisis might force the french man to reconsider he stand on both players.
Thibaut Courtois and Luka Jovic have since shrugged off their injuries, and it would excite Real Madrid fans to note that Brahim Diaz has also been passed fit to play.
Club captain, Sergio Ramos, who missed out on Real’s trip to stadium Olimpico was also included.
Here’s the full list:
T. Courtois, Keylor Navas, Altube; Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Militão, Nacho, Odriozola, Carvajal; Casemiro, Isco, Kroos, Modric, Valverde, James Rodriguez; Gareth Bale, Luka Jovic, Lucas Vazquez, Karim Benzema, Brahim Diaz and Vinicius Jnr.
Laliga Santander fixtures
|December 6, 2019|
|Villarreal||9:00 PM||Atlético de Madrid|
|December 7, 2019|
|Real Madrid||1:00 PM||Espanyol|
|Granada||4:00 PM||Deportivo Alavés|
|December 8, 2019|
|Real Betis||2:00 PM||Athletic Bilbao|
|Real Valladolid||4:00 PM||Real Sociedad|
|Leganes||6:30 PM||Celta Vigo|
|December 13, 2019|
|Deportivo Alavés||9:00 PM||Leganes|
|December 14, 2019|
|Real Sociedad||4:00 PM||Barcelona|
|Athletic Bilbao||6:30 PM||Eibar|
|Atlético de Madrid||9:00 PM||Osasuna|
|December 15, 2019|
|Getafe||12:00 PM||Real Valladolid|
|Celta Vigo||2:00 PM||Mallorca|
|Espanyol||4:00 PM||Real Betis|
|Valencia||9:00 PM||Real Madrid|