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Former Real Madrid midfielder wishes to have played with Leo Messi

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(Photo by Luis Ramirez/LatinContent via Getty Images)

In the fiercely competitive world of football, allegiance to a particular club often defines a player’s identity, especially when it comes to historic rivalries like that of Real Madrid and Barcelona. Few players, past or present, dare to publicly express their desire to play alongside a legendary figure from the opposing camp, especially when it’s a certain Leo Messi. However, former Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez has proven to be an exception.

Rodriguez, who joined Real Madrid from Monaco in the summer of 2014, made an indelible mark with his arrival. The Colombian midfielder, known for his highly technical prowess and a spectacular left-foot strike, quickly became a fan favorite. His dazzling performances in the 2014 World Cup with Colombia elevated his status, and one of his strikes in Brazil even earned him the prestigious Puskas Award for the best goal of the year.

The 32-year-old midfielder didn’t shy away from acknowledging his admiration for football icons when questioned in an interview. Mainly, he mentioned Zidane and Messi as his football idols. When asked about his dream teammates, Rodriguez surprising many, expressed his desire to play alongside both Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. “With Zidane, who was my coach, I would have loved to play with him. With Messi, I faced him many times, but I would have loved to play with him,” he revealed.

Messi

James was one of the sensations of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which led to Real Madrid signing him after the tournament.

Rodriguez’s football journey also included a loan spell at Bayern Munich from 2017 to 2019. Despite his temporary departure, he returned to Real Madrid for the 2019/20 campaign, contributing to the team’s success in lifting the Spanish Super Cup and securing another league title. In total, he amassed 125 appearances for Los Blancos, scoring 37 goals and being a crucial part of the squad that clinched nine trophies during his tenure.

His willingness to express admiration for players beyond the confines of club rivalry provides a unique insight into the camaraderie that transcends team loyalties in the world of football. James Rodriguez, with his graceful style of play and genuine appreciation for football greatness, has shown that sometimes, the love for the game and respect for extraordinary talents can bridge even the fiercest divides in football fandom.

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