James Rodriguez: I said yes to Toffees because of Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti (L) and James Rodriguez during the Everton press conference at USM Finch Farm on September 10 2020 in Halewood, England.

Everton's new signing James Rodriguez says he can recapture and eclipse the form that catapulted him to superstardom when he won the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup.

Rodriguez, 29, secured his move to Real Madrid six years ago on the back of his performances for Colombia, and he enjoyed his best spell at the Bernabeu under Carlo Ancelotti.

As he was unveiled by Everton yesterday, Rodriguez made no secret of the fact it was Ancelotti's presence that was critical to the move.

"It influenced me a lot. It is great to be back having a chance to work with the manager again. We enjoyed a great season together in 2014. We have a great relationship," said the £20 million signing.

Asked if he was still the player of 2014, Rodriguez said: "Yes. Six or seven years ago, I had something good. With football, you have to have people beside you who trust in you, so you can give your best.

"I am young and I think I have years left in me of playing good football and that's why I am here, to do it at this great club.

"As everyone knows, I played little last year and I spoke to Carlo and I think it was good for me to be able to play again. I spoke to him and I said yes, it wasn't, 'I'll think about it and then I'll tell you'. I said yes, because it was a club with passion and was the right thing for me."

Ancelotti made a point of stressing that Rodriguez made his willingness to join Everton clear during transfer talks. The Italian says he turned his back on several targets because he doubted their commitment to his Goodison rebuild.

"There is a key question when you talk to a player, 'Do you really want to come?'" Ancelotti said.

"There are some that say, 'Yes' and others that say, 'Maybe I have to think about this'. The three players we signed (Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure) simply answered 'Yes'. Full stop. I want to have players that have a desire to come to this club."
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