Former Real Madrid present Ramón Calderón has revealed his disappointment at seeing James Rodríguez leave for Everton last summer.
The Colombian departed the Bernabeu for Goodison Park on a free transfer last year, with the Spanish giants electing to let him go to get his wages off the books.
He’s since had a relatively strong first year in England working under Carlo Ancelotti, with injuries the only thing having stopped him from adding to his six goals and five assists in the Premier League so far.
His form for Everton has raised questions about why he wasn’t given more of a chance at the Bernabeu, where he’d been since 2014 after a £67.5m move from Monaco.
He had initially been one of the stars at the club in his first three years there but by 2017 was shipped out on a two-year loan to Bayern Munich.
His final season in Spain saw him manage just 14 appearances and 728 minutes of football in total, a sad end for a player who managed 37 goals and 42 assists in 125 games for the club.
Most of his departure to Everton was based on his failed relationship with Zinedine Zidane, and Calderón says it was a shame to see his time at the club end the way it did.
“I have a weakness for that player; I think he had great qualities,” he told Antena 2.
“It’s a shame what happened at Real Madrid. First of all, he was a player who was very much expected because of his background; the fans loved him a lot and admired him.
“Unfortunately, coaches have their preferences, and in the case of James, they didn’t count on him (except Ancelotti).
“It’s a shame; he’s a magnificent player, and I know he’s going to perform wherever he is.
“He had very good games here; he helped the club in many games, but in the end, the decision was for him to leave Madrid and I wish him all the best.”