Former Real Madrid and Everton midfielder James Rodriguez is hoping Liverpool can come out on top in the Champions League final despite his links to their opponents
Ex-Everton star James Rodriguez has revealed he wants Liverpool to beat his old club Real Madrid in the Champions League final later this month.
Jurgen Klopp’s side booked their place in the final with a 5-2 aggregate win over Villarreal last week – their third final in five seasons. Meanwhile, Los Blancos came from behind to beat Manchester City 6-5 over two legs.
This is the first time the two sides have met in the final since the infamous 2018 clash where Mohamed Salah was taken off before half-time after clashing with Sergio Ramos. Gareth Bale proved to be the match-winner in that game, scoring an audacious overhead kick in a match otherwise remembered for Loris Karius’s two glaring mistakes.
Ahead of the game in Paris, Rodriguez is hoping Liverpool can get the job done because of his affiliation with Colombian team-mate Luis Diaz. He said: “I want Liverpool to be champion, I have many friends in Real Madrid and it is a difficult team for this type of match, but I want Lucho (Diaz) to win.”
This is also despite previously playing for Real Madrid and Liverpool’s rivals Everton. Rodriguez began his career in his native Colombia, before moving into Europe with Porto and Monaco.
After impressing at the 2014 World Cup, Rodriguez earned a big-money move to Real Madrid for a reported fee in the region of £63million. He had an excellent first season at Los Blancos, chipping in with 17 goals in 47 appearances.
Rodriguez would go on to spend two years on loan at Bayern Munich, where he grabbed a phenomenal 15 goals and 20 assists in 67 games. He returned to Los Blancos for the start of 2019/10, but it proved to be another frustrating campaign at Real as he made just 14 appearances in all competitions.
He decided to leave Real in the summer of 2020, joining Everton as Carlo Ancelotti began to rebuild his Blues squad. Although Rodriguez never played in front of a full Goodison Park due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he was a fans’ favourite because of the quality he brought to the club.
With six goals and nine assists in 27 matches, Rodriguez helped Everton to a top-half finish before deciding to leave in the summer. He made the switch to Al-Rayyan for an undisclosed fee, where he has since scored four times in the Saudi Premier League.