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I didn't want James to go - Zidane ready for Champions League reunion with familiar face

Omnisport
NEWS
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1.34K   //    24 Apr 2018, 23:36 IST
Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid Training And Press Conference 13022018
Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane has played down the idea James Rodriguez will be out to prove a point when he comes up against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

James could be included in Bayern Munich's starting XI on Wednesday when the Bundesliga champions have home advantage in the first leg of the semi-final.

The Colombia international fell down the pecking order during his second season at Madrid, leading to his departure on a two-year loan deal to Bayern, who have the option to make the move permanent.

Left out of their squad for the Champions League final last year, he now has the chance to knock his parent club out of this season's competition.

Yet Zidane revealed on the eve of the contest that he never wanted the player to leave Spain, while also stating there is no bad blood between the pair despite media speculation to the contrary.

"I didn't want James to go, he decided to go. I never had any problem with James and it's more about what is said in the press," the Frenchman told the media.

"I think he will be motivated because he is a football player. He doesn't have to prove anything to anyone.

"Anyone that thinks I am against James is wrong.

"He will want to go out and prove himself but because he likes football and that's it."

Madrid knocked Bayern out at the quarter-final stage last year en route to retaining the trophy in Cardiff.

The LaLiga giants are bidding to win the competition for a third season in a row, yet Zidane played down the notion his side are the favourites to progress.

“I don’t think there are any favourites," he said.

"It’s a semi-final – it’s completely different to last season. It’s a different match, we can’t compare the two."

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