James Rodriguez has called on Bayern Munich to be at their ruthless best against Real Madrid. - © GUENTER SCHIFFMANN
James Rodriguez has called on Bayern Munich to be at their ruthless best against Real Madrid. - © GUENTER SCHIFFMANN
Bundesliga

"I want to help Bayern Munich reach the Champions League final" - James Rodriguez ahead of Real Madrid return

James Rodriguez has urged Bayern Munich to make the most of their chances in Tuesday's decisive UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg away to Real Madrid, but says he won't celebrate if he scores against his parent club.

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James is set to play at the Santiago Bernabeu for the first time since joining Bayern on a two-year loan deal from Madrid in the summer, with the Bundesliga champions needing to score at least two goals to progress, after losing the first leg 2-1.

"We were a bit sloppy in the first leg, so we need to be more clinical," James said at Monday's pre-match press conference, before reflecting on his three-year stay in the Spanish capital.

"Obviously it's nice to be back. I had three wonderful years in Madrid, but it's no one's fault I'm no longer here. There are no hard feelings towards [Zinedine] Zidane. I always gave my best when I played, and hopefully I'll be well received. As a mark of respect to the fans, I won't celebrate if I score."

A bit-part player towards the latter part of his Madrid chapter, James has become an irreplaceable part of the Bayern midfield under Jupp Heynckes. The 26-year-old has registered six goals and 13 assists in 35 appearances in all competitions so far this season, despite being used in a much deeper role.

Watch: All James' Bundesliga goals and assists to date

"I'm playing a bit deeper now, I'm not as close to the opposition's goal as when I played [for Madrid]," the Colombia international explained. "You can see I'm somewhere on the pitch where I need to run more, drop and push on. I think the gaffer wants us all to run and I can help, too. I want to help my team-mates reach the final. Bayern can do it!"

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