Injury may have prevented James Rodriguez from hitting the ground running at Bayern Munich, but now that he is back to full fitness the Colombian attacker is certainly making up for lost time.
The 26-year-old netted the opener in Bayern's 2-0 win against RB Leipzig on Saturday – his first at home for the Bavarians – taking him to two goals and an assist in five Bundesliga outings so far. We caught up with him for his thoughts on that match, and how he's settling in Munich so far...
Question: James Rodriguez, congratulations on scoring your second goal for Bayern…
James Rodriguez: Thank you. It was a wonderful feeling to score for the first time in front of our fans at the Allianz Arena. I think we played well overall. We created some good chances against Leipzig and the three points were never in doubt after we went in front.
Question: How are you settling in Munich now that you've been here for two months?
James: I had some pain in my back before the DFB Cup game against Leipzig last Wednesday, but I'm back to my best now. I try to give my all in every training session in order to show my qualities in our matches. Obviously I still need to adapt to my new life here in Munich, but it's getting better every day. I like it here.
Question: It has been reported in the media that you've had some difficulty adapting. Can you explain more about that?
James: Life here is something completely new to me and I also have to get used to Bayern's playing style. That's not something that happens overnight. And that's before we talk about how cold it is! [laughs] But at the end of the day the only thing that matters here is the football, a game that's the same wherever in the world you play it. I'm doing what I love and I'm happy to be doing that here. Games like the one today, where I achieve what I set out to do, give me strength for the challenges ahead.
Question: Jupp Heynckes has singled you out for praise in press conferences and underlined your importance for the team. What is your relationship like with the new head coach?
James: It's great. He's a very experienced coach who exudes calm and poise. You can tell he's seen a lot in his long career as a coach. I'm trying to do exactly what I did with all my previous coaches: take his ideas on board, learn from him and grow as a footballer. The fact he speaks Spanish obviously makes things much easier for me.
Watch: Heynckes' Bayern history
Question: You came to Bayern at the request of Carlo Ancelotti, who was dismissed just a few games into the season. Are you sad about his departure?
James: Nobody likes it when these things happen, but unfortunately that's the way football is. Those of us who live in this world have to realise that and adapt to it. You always have to be aware that things can change very suddenly. All I can say is that I'm very grateful to Carlo for everything I was able to learn from him.
Question: What role does Heynckes envisage for you?
James: I don't think my position is going to change very much under the new coach. I played out wide against Leipzig and there were a few occasions where I was able to create some dangerous moments.
Question: And you did so despite not being used to the freezing temperatures in Munich…
James: That's true, but I've tried to be well prepared for the winter. One jacket wasn't enough so I bought a couple of them so that I wouldn't be cold. It really is very cold here but I don't mind it too much. I consider my time in Munich as a new life for me and that involves experiencing new things. I like it more with each passing day.