It is safe to assume that Everton manager Rafael Benitez does not hold James Rodriguez in high regard.
The Colombian attacker recently completed a move to Qatari club Al-Rayyan SC from Everton for a fee of €8 million after falling out of favor with Benitez. Of course, he made the move to Merseyside when Carlo Ancelotti was manager, who he also worked under at both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, but Benitez recently had some choice words on his opinion of the Colombian international in a recent press conference (SPOX).
“James prefers money and a comfortable life. This is more important to him than competition and success in football,” Benitez claimed in the press conference. He hadn’t featured at all since the Spaniard manager had taken charge this summer, and he was labelled by Benitez as someone who didn’t put the proper effort forth in training sessions that would warrant a place in his starting eleven. “He never tried in training, but always made demands on a starting eleven. That was unfair to all the other players who gave their maximum in training but were still on the bench,” Benitez continued.
While Benitez might be one of the first managers to publicly come out and criticize James, the sentiment is consistent with some of his antics at Bayern. James had complained about the weather in Munich and had asked Bayern not to withdraw the purchase option on his loan deal from Real Madrid. While he did have some good spells at Bayern under Jupp Heynckes, the consistency of his performances never matched his demands for more consistent starting time. On his day, he’s capable of greatness and can be unplayable, but it just never really worked for him at Bayern, or Everton for that matter.
There was a lot of irony found in that fact that he moved to Merseyside from Bayern after complaining about the Munich weather. It’s an area of England where the weather is routinely worse than it is in Munich. You can look to former Bundesliga and current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to hear some of his comments on Liverpool’s lovely weather conditions throughout the year.
At Al-Rayyan, James might very well be guaranteed a consistent starting spot and a lot of minutes, but it remains to be seen just how well he will fit in there. Videos of him watching his new club take on Al-Ahli in Doha have taken social media by storm.