Colombia international James Rodriguez has once again become the subject of attention after he was quoted by German outlet Bild stating that Bayern Munich are on the same level as parent club Real Madrid.
The 26-year-old joined the Bavarian giants from Los Blancos on a two-year loan contract this month with the option to make the deal a permanent one. Rodriguez was used sparingly under Zinedine Zidane during the previous campaign as he played second fiddle to the likes of Isco, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal were deemed as some of the suitors for Rodriguez, but he eventually decided to join Bayern, where he is reunited with former boss Carlo Ancelotti. Rodriguez has enjoyed a regular spot in the starting XI during pre-season, and a report from Bild had quoted the attacker saying that Bayern hold a similar reputation to Madrid if not better, he said: "Bayern Munich is as big a club as Real Madrid, if not even bigger... I looked at the squad and thought, 'there are just as many stars here as at Real, the quality is the same."
However, the 26-year-old has since taken to Twitter to clarify that the statement is false, and he has total respect for the European champions, he wrote: "That's false, I didn't say that," he tweeted. "Total respect for Madrid! Please, leave me alone, I've gone from Spain now. Thank you."
Rodriguez managed 33 appearances across all competitions for Real Madrid last season, netting 11 goals in the process. He has yet to open his goalscoring account for his new club, but featured for the full 90 minutes during their 3-2 friendly win over Chelsea at the national stadium in Singapore. Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben were Ancelotti's preferred wideman during the course of the previous campaign, but the former could be benched in order to facilitate Rodriguez into the lineup.