- James Rodriguez failed to live up to his billing at Real Madrid after the World Cup
- The Colombian midfielder swapped the Bernabeu for Germany over the summer
- James faces parent club Real in the Champions League semi finals this week
Patrick Boyland For Mailonline
James Rodriguez was left feeling ‘a little depressed’ by his departure from Real Madrid, according to Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes.
A big-money signing following the 2014 World Cup, James quickly fell out of favour in the Spanish capital, where he found himself behind the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Isco.
He made just 22 La Liga appearances for Zinedine Zidane’s men last season, before moving to Bayern on loan over the summer.
James Rodriguez (pictured) suffered a slump after he left Real Madrid, says Jupp Heynckes
Colombian international James joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan last summer
And with the two clubs set to go head-to-head in the Champions League this week, current coach Heynckes admits it took a while to turn around the midfielder’s fragile confidence following his disappointment at the Bernabeu.
‘He was a little depressed,’ he said. ‘I took care of him, I had lots of talks with him, and step by step he found confidence. He is more relaxed within the team.
‘Our fans here, when they see him play football, they enjoy it. Above all he is a player who has fantasy, has an overview.
‘He is more open-minded and gives the impression he feels well and has settled in Munich. I think this is most fundamental.’
The midfielder flopped at Real, where he found himself behind the likes of Modric and Isco
James (right) faces his former club in the Champions League semi final on Wednesday
Slowly but surely, though, the Colombian has started to come good at the Allianz Arena, where he has scored six and assisted 10 goals in 21 appearances to date.
James and Bayern face Real Madrid on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, with the 26-year-old believed to be battling team-mate Corentin Tolisso for a place in midfield.
His two-year loan deal with the Bundesliga champions expires next summer.