In his first significant interview since the day he signed for the club, James Rodriguez took some time to speak with the Everton website about what led him to join the Blues, among other things.
It has long been known that the Colombian superstar was convinced by the Toffees project thanks to having his former manager Carlo Ancelotti in the driver’s seat at Finch Farm, but to hear him say it is another feeling altogether.
“I had to go to a team where I could be trusted. I needed to play under a coach who knows me, how I behave on and off the pitch. I’ll be forever grateful to the Club and to Carlo.
“That is why I try to show my best and play at my highest level in every game.
“This is a club which has hunger to accomplish big things. This year, I am watching the Champions League from home. But I think we’ve got what we need to be there next year.
“We have to be hungry to succeed in every game. We have talented, top-level players and if we all follow the same path, I’m sure we’ll be able to accomplish awesome things.”
“It’s been a big help coming at this time [later in his career], you have the background, good and bad experiences, they are all lessons learned.
“I feel like the Club brings many positive things in my life and I am learning day by day. It is a very humble club, eager to achieve success, with very kind people.
“Football in the Premier League is a bit more physical than the others [European leagues]. We can see strong players who use their bodies and strength when playing, always looking for physical contact.
“Technically, they’re also good players. It’s a quick, intense kind of football.”
James’ defensive effort has also come into question by mainstream media despite the player ranking highly in metrics for defensive actions performed, with even Ancelotti telling the media that he did not sign the player to play defence.
“This is what I want to do. Playing football, and football is not only about running. Football is about making your teammates play the best way, helping them win. I always say that when one’s talented and skilled, one can actually play anywhere.
“This is what I want and try to do: helping the team, so that they can play at the highest level. I know that there are teams known for running very much, for playing in a very physical way. And when you have a player who thinks, who plays football in a different way, that makes it easier for the rest of the teammates as well as for you.
“There are matches in which you can’t always play the same way. In my case, I always try to do the same, so that the team can achieve great things.”