WATCH: James Reveals Debt To Ancelotti And Everton

James Rodriguez wants to repay Everton and Carlo Ancelotti for bringing him to Goodison Park by reaching his magical peak and contributing to major success.

And the fit-again forward is convinced Everton have “everything we need” to qualify for Champions League football.

James joined Everton prior to this campaign following six years with Real Madrid.

He returned as a substitute for his 11th Premier League appearance in Everton’s New Years’ Day meeting with West Ham United after four weeks nursing a calf problem.

The Colombian, who previously played for Porto, Monaco and Bayern Munich, has directly contributed to six league goals this term, scoring three.

He is in the closing stages of his rehabilitation, with an FA Cup date against Rotherham United on Saturday and Premier League visit to Wolverhampton Wanderers three days later on the horizon.

“I had to go to a team where I could be trusted,” said James of his transfer to Everton.

“I needed to play under a coach who knows me, how I behave on and off the pitch.

“I’ll be forever grateful to the Club and to Carlo.


"That is why I try to show my best and play at my highest level in every game.

“This is a club which has hunger to accomplish big things.

“This year, I am watching the Champions League from home.

“But I think we’ve got what we need to be there next year.

“We have to be hungry to succeed in every game.

“We have talented, top-level players and if we all follow the same path, I’m sure we’ll be able to accomplish awesome things.”

James, a domestic champion in four countries, came to England boasting a staggering return of 161 goal involvements in 227 appearances in the top divisions in Portugal, France, Spain and Germany.

His quest to shine in a fifth European league began on a compelling note, when James confounded expectations to instantly star as Everton won their opening four league games.

And the player, who previously worked with Ancelotti at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, insists he harboured no fears over performing in the notoriously robust Premier League.

“It’s been a big help coming at this time [later in his career], you have the background, good and bad experiences, they are all lessons learned,” said James.

“I feel like the Club brings many positive things in my life and I am learning day by day.

“It is a very humble club, eager to achieve success, with very kind people.

“Football in the Premier League is a bit more physical than the others [European leagues].

“We can see strong players who use their bodies and strength when playing, always looking for physical contact.

“Technically, they’re also good players.

“It’s a quick, intense kind of football.

“I’ve played in many other leagues but here players are stronger, they play more physically, and they are always looking for the ball.

“Football is not only about running. It is about making your teammates play the best way and helping them win.

“When one’s talented and skilled, one can play anywhere.

“I want to help the team so they can play at the highest level.”


The only downside of James’ on-pitch baptism in England is the ongoing absence of supporters in stadiums.

His layoff last month coincided with three matches when Everton had 2,000 fans inside Goodison.

But the South American is vowing to “make up for lost time” when Evertonians are back in earnest – after being struck by the passion for football in his new country since arriving four months ago.

“This is a very calm place, people love football here, they are very passionate about it,” added James.

“That’s what I have lived from the outside and what I’ve lived during the matches.

“People here are great supporters of the sport, they are amazing fans.”