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James Rodriguez hoping this can be his season at Real Madrid

9:17 PM EDT 9/9/19
James Rodriguez Real Madrid
After two years away on loan and an off-season dominated by speculation, the Colombian wants to make an impact in Madrid

James Rodriguez is hoping to become an important player for Real Madrid this season after staying with the La Liga giants.

Atletico Madrid and Napoli were heavily linked with the Colombian playmaker, who was tipped to leave Madrid in the off-season.

But James stayed and started for Madrid for the first time since May 2017 in their 1-1 draw with Real Valladolid on August 24.

After two years away on loan at Bayern Munich and an off-season dominated by speculation, James wants to make an impact in the Spanish capital.

"I really hope that this can be my season with Real Madrid," James told El Chiringuito.

James is currently recovering from a calf injury sustained in action for Madrid prior to the international break.

The injury ruled James out of Colombia's friendlies against Brazil and Venezuela but he said he hopes to be fit for Real's next match against Levante on September 14.

Zinedine Zidane's Madrid have only won one of their opening three matches following back-to-back draws, leaving them four points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid.

After returning to the Santiago Bernabeu last month, James admitted it was a "unique feeling" to be back.

"Back at the Bernabeu after a long time," James wrote on Twitter after a 1-1 draw with Real Valladolid.

"It was a unique feeling. Thanks to the fans for the support. We will continue to work in order to improve."

Zidane praised James after that match, with the 28-year-old managing to impress despite a lingering injury.

“James played a good match, he left the pitch because he was a little hurt and we prefer to not take risks,” Zidane told reporters.

“But he did a good job, especially in the first half.” 

James joined Real from Monaco in 2014 for an undisclosed fee and after three seasons in Spain was loaned out for two years to Bayern. 

The Colombian made 20 league appearances for the Bundesliga champions last season, scoring seven goals and contributing three assists.