Defending Greek Super League champions, Olympiacos announced on its official Twitter on Thursday that the club has signed Colombia international attacking midfielder James Rodríguez from Qatar Stars League club Al-Rayyan.
Olympiacos did not state in what form James would join the club in their official statement , other than the fact that he would wear the No.10 jersey.
However, according to renowned Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, James will join the club for a season-long, during which Olympiacos will have the rights to turn James’ ownership into permanent.
The 31-year-old James was born in Cúcuta, Colombia on July 12, 1991. He is 1.8 meters tall, mainly plays as an attacking midfielder, but he can also be deployed as a winger. He has dual nationality of Colombia and Spain. James came through Colombian side Envigado in 2006, then joined Argentine club Banfield in 2008, and landed in Europe in 2010, joining the Portuguese giants Porto for a transfer fee of €7.35million. During his time with Porto, James played a total of 108 games for the club in all competitions, scoring 32 goals and making 41 assists. In 2013, the Ligue 1 giants Monaco spent €45million to sign James. In his only season with the club, James made 38 appearances accross all competitions, scoring 10 goals and providing 14 assists. After an outstanding performance in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, James attracted the interests of La Liga giants Real Madrid.
Just after the World Cup ended that year, Real Madrid signed James for €75million. James played a total of 125 times for Real Madrid, scoring 37 goals and assisting 42 times across all competitions, winning 2 La Liga titles and 2 Champions League titles with the team.
In 2017, James joined defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on-loan. During the two-years which he had spent in the German side, James played a total of 67 times for Bayern, scoring 15 goals and making 20 assists across all compeititions, winning 2 Bundesliga championships and 1 DFB-Pokal.
After the end of the 2019/20 season, after his contract with Real Madrid ended, James joined Everton as a free agent , reuniting with Carlo Ancelotti in the Premier League. However, plagued by injuries, he only played 26 times for Everton. scoring 6 goals and providing 9 assists, which is not a bad result.
In the summer of 2021, after the former Dalian Pro, Newcastle United and the cross-town rivals Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez joined Everton, he made it clear that James was not in his plans. Since then, the Colombia international has been looking for a new club, and until the start of the new season of that year, he did not represent the Toffees in any official competition. Although some media speculated that James will likely follow in the footsteps of his former boss Carlo Ancelotti by returning to La Liga giants Real Madrid during the summer window of that year, but this rumour eventually didn’t come true.
At the end of September of that same year, James left European football and went to the Middle East to join the Qatar Stars League side Al-Rayyan. However, not long after joining, James has been clamoring to return to European football, but he has never had a suitor. It was not until now that he joined Olympiacos that he finally realized his dream.
Last season, James played a total of 14 times for Al-Rayyan in all competitions, scoring 5 goals and making 7 assists. At the international level, James has been representing the Colombian senior national team since 2011. So far, he has played 86 times for the nation in various competitions, scoring 24 goals and making 25 assists. He also won the Golden Boot during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
It is worth mentioning that since Brazil international left-back Marcelo also joined the Greek Super League giants as a free agent not long ago, James will now join hands with his former Real Madrid teammate again in a foreign country.
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