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Xavi admits he wanted former Real Madrid midfielder to play for Barcelona

James Rodriguez defined an era with Real Madrid, winning nine trophies in his six years with the club. He lifted two La Liga titles, two UEFA Champions League trophies, two FIFA Club World Cups, two UEFA Super Cups, and Spanish Super Cup in his tenure at Santiago Bernabeu, scoring 37 goals in the process.

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez spoke about the Colombian playmaker via MARCA and revealed his admiration for the ex-Real Madrid player, saying that he regretted having to play against him.

“I feel sorry that James Rodriguez played for Real Madrid and not for Barcelona.”

He specifically highlighted the attacking midfielder’s ability to make an instant difference with tremendous goals, be it from short or long range with the help of his gifted left foot.

“James has always shown quality and talent to make a difference.”

The Colombian spent a year on loan at Bayern Munich before returning to Real Madrid for a swansong in 2019-20. Rodriguez then moved to Everton in the Premier League where he spent a year under Carlo Ancelotti.

In September 2021, the midfielder joined Al-Rayyan but had his contract terminated on mutual terms just over 365 days later. He is currently rendering his services in the Greek Super League for Olympiacos where he has scored two goals and provided two assists in seven games.

Meanwhile, Xavi’s side will return to action on the 31st of December in a derby game against Espanyol. However, they face a big test immediately after in the form of Atletico Madrid at Civitas Metropolitano and it remains to be seen as to whether the manager will have a full-strength squad for the decisive game.

Barcelona currently sit atop the La Liga standings, two points clear of Real Madrid. Now, the focus will be to maintain the lead and capitalise on any further slip-ups by Los Blancos.

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