James Rodríguez Returns to Real Madrid but Will He Accept PSG Offer?

, / 05:21 AM August 27, 2019

James Rodríguez returns to the Spanish league ended in frustration as Real Madrid conceded a late equalizer to draw its home opener 1-1 against Valladolid on Saturday adding pressure and tension to the rumor of Rodrigues transfer to PGS.

Rodriguez received an ovation when he was substituted early in the second half, but the Santiago Bernabeu crowd left disappointed as Madrid let victory escape.

James Rodríguez transfer

Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez, right, vies for the ball with Valladolid’s Kiko Olivas during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul White)

Karim Benzema put Madrid ahead in the 82nd minute but Sergi Guardiola stunned the hosts with an 88th-minute equalizer, stopping Zinedine Zidane’s team from adding to its winning start to the league.

James Rodríguez Transfer

Still, without the injured Eden Hazard, James Rodri­guez transfer back to Madrid and once again becoming the main attraction in a match that marked the playmaker’s return to action more than two years after joining Bayern Munich on loan.

James Rodríguez transfer

Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema controls the ball during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul White)

“After a long time, I was back at the Bernabéu,” Rodríguez said on Twitter. “It was a unique feeling. Thanks to the fans for the support. We will keep working to improve.”

The Colombia midfielder created several chances and came close to scoring on more than one occasion before being substituted by Vinícius Júnior in the 57th.

James Rodríguez transfer

Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez, left, vies for the ball with Valladolid’s Pedro Porro during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul White)

“It was a good match for James, especially in the first half,” Zidane said. “We replaced him because he had a little bit of pain and we didn’t want to risk anything serious.'”

Madrid, which opened the season with a 3-1 win at Celta Vigo, is trying to rebound from one of its worst campaigns in decades and is seeking a first league title since 2017.

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, left gestures during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul White)

Benzema broke the deadlock by scoring his 150th Spanish league goal with a well-placed low shot into the corner after controlling a Raphael Varane pass just outside the area. Guardiola equalized from close range after the Madrid defense was caught off guard from a late counterattack.

“We leave with a bad taste in our mouths,” Zidane said. “We did the most difficult thing, which was to score while we were not playing our best, but then in three or four minutes they equalized when our defense was not positioned correctly.”

Real Madrid’s head coach Zinedine Zidane gestures during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul White)

Zidane started with a different lineup from the opener in Vigo, using Rodríguez in midfield and Francisco “Isco” Alarcon in an attack along with Benzema and Gareth Bale in a move that relegated Vinícius Junior to the bench.

Bale started for the second match in a row after the team failed to reach a deal for his transfer in the offseason. Wales forward produced a good performance in the opener but was quiet against Valladolid.

Real Madrid’s head coach Zinedine Zidane, right, talks with his player during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul White)

The visitors had a couple of good chances to take the lead on counterattacks late in the second half. The team owned by former Brazil star striker Ronaldo had begun the season with a 2-1 win at Real Betis.

OTHER RESULTS

Promoted Osasuna drew 0-0 with Eibar, while Celta Vigo defeated Valencia 1-0 with a winner by Gabriel Fernández early in the first half. Athletic Bilbao followed its opening home win against Barcelona with a 1-1 draw at Getafe. Raúl Garcia opened the scoring for the visitors in the sixth minute before Jaime Mata equalized in the 12th.

Real Madrid’s Isco, second right, vies for the ball during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul White)

On Sunday, two-time defending champion Barcelona hosts Real Betis, while Atlético Madrid visits Leganés.

Sevilla won 1-0 at Granada on Friday and sits top as the only team with two victories.

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale reacts as Valladolid’s Sergi Guardiola celebrates after scoring his side’s first goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul White)

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Valladolid’s Sergi Guardiola celebrates after scoring his side’s first goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul White)

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TAGS: James Rodriguez, PSG, Real Madrid, soccer, sports
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