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.
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.
🗣 @jamesdrodriguez: "I don't think we need to change much. We need to try to play well, with intensity and desire. We can score goals, that was our mistake in the last game. We're up for it and have a chance." 💪 #RMAFCB #FCBayern #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/eMcNkINqae— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) April 30, 2018
"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!"