He got his wish: James Rodriguez will be returning to European football
The Colombian star had spoken about his desire to leave Qatari football, and now he'll be returning to Europe
James Rodríguez will return to European football. The Colombian midfielder will leave Qatar's Al Rayyan SC to join Olympiacos in Greece, the same team that signed Marcelo a week ago on a free deal and whose coach is the Spanish Carlos Corberán. The morning newspaper La Gazzetta of Greece released the news and it soon spread everywhere until the Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano confirmed it.
"James Rodriguez to Olympiacos, deal ready to be completed! I have been told that the Colombian star will fly to Greece today: doctor scheduled, there is a verbal agreement in the loan agreement" Romano published about the agreement. The idea is that James will arrive on loan to Greece and that both clubs will share the cost of his salary.
The Colombian midfielder had been wanting to return to European football for a while, recently declaring that he'd be honoured if Spanish side Valencia CF offered him a deal. James managed to sign for Olympiacos just a day before the transfer market closed in Greece, and will thus play in the Europa League, where the Greek side shares Group G along with Nantes, Qarabag and Freiburg. However, if nothing else happens, he will have to return to Qatar at the end of the season, as his contract with Al Rayyan runs until 2024.
In a recent interview, James confessed that in part he lamented his decision to move to the Qatari league: "Life here is very calm, but in terms of football and work, there is a lot missing, that is why he is one of the reasons why I want to leave. In the end, everything is experiences. I take it as one more experience".
On the other hand, he also admitted that his age was a problem for the top teams in Europe he'd like to play for: "All the teams want to sign young players and I am already 31 years old. For the teams that sign a 31-year-old player, they are the ones who want to put all the conditions. Football also changed. All teams are looking for physical players, who run more than they play, youngsters".
In the end James got his wish. The Greek league is not one of the best in Europe, but Olympiacos is familiar with top-level teams when playing in the Europa League, at the same time that it will meet again with an old teammate from years at Real Madrid, Marcelo, another who resigns himself to abandoning the first world.