International Champions Cup Singapore

Football: Rodriguez can't wait to start

Bayern's new man James Rodriguez displaying his skills in front of fans, as team-mate David Alaba (right) looks on at Clifford Square during the adidas Football Freestyle Battle last night.
Bayern's new man James Rodriguez displaying his skills in front of fans, as team-mate David Alaba (right) looks on at Clifford Square during the adidas Football Freestyle Battle last night.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Bayern loanee wants to forget his unhappy time at Real as he is reunited with Ancelotti

New Bayern Munich loan signing James Rodriguez has declared his intention to play a major role in continuing the club's longstanding tradition of success.

"I'm here to win titles. I came to Bayern because they are always one of the best in the world," said the forward, who recently signed on a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid, at yesterday's press conference for today's International Champions Cup (ICC) match.

The 26-year-old Colombian also appeared to take a jibe at his former boss Zinedine Zidane.

"I am really happy to come to a place where the coach really trusts me," he remarked, glancing at his current manager Carlo Ancelotti.

And in a later event yesterday evening for Bayern's apparel sponsor adidas, James reiterated his desire to play for the Italian tactician.

He said: "I am open to the directions of Carlo, I can play in the middle or in the sides. The two-year loan is an arrangement between the clubs but I want to win titles for Bayern, especially the Champions League."

The move reunites the pair, as it was former Real boss Ancelotti who brought Rodriguez over to the Spanish giants after an impressive 2014 World Cup Finals outing, which saw him win the Golden Boot with some dazzling goals.

Ancelotti is a keen admirer of Rodriguez and is confident that the move will be a boost to the Bundesliga champions going into next season.

"James has a fantastic quality and with this quality we can improve our play between lines. We can reach within and have the possibility to do final passes to our strikers," raved the 58-year-old.

While the German giants have been busy during this summer's transfer window with highly rated youngsters Corentin Tolisso, Kingsley Coman and Niklas Sule joining Rodriguez, Ancelotti is determined to keep his best players.

He quashed rumours of Arturo Vidal's departure amid speculation linking the Chilean international with Manchester United.

"There is no way. He is our player and I have a lot of confidence in him. I know there are rumours but Vidal will stay with us 100 per cent," insisted Ancelotti.

Young Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanchez's future at the club, however, hangs in the balance. Ancelotti would only say: "At this moment he's working with us and training with us. It could be a possibility that he leaves but also possibility that he stays with us."

For now, Ancelotti is focused on improving Bayern's dismal pre-season performance in the 4-0 drubbing by AC Milan last Saturday.

Bayern face English champions Chelsea tonight at the National Stadium in the opening fixture of the inaugural ICC Singapore.

"We want to do well (against Chelsea). But the result is our last focus now. We want to have a good attack, a good balance," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2017, with the headline 'Rodriguez can't wait to start'. Print Edition | Subscribe