‘Why did Real Madrid buy James when they already have Isco?’

Former Blancos defender Robert Jarni is puzzled as to why his old club have splashed out on the 2014 World Cup star

By Ante Buskulic

Ex-Real Madrid left-back Robert Jarni has questioned his former side’s decision to sign James Rodriguez due to the presence of both Isco and Angel Di Maria in the current squad.

Madrid splashed out €80 million on Monaco man James, who earlier this week finished sixth in the 2014 Goal 50, and his transfer has prompted plenty of speculation over the futures of both Isco and Di Maria.

Jarni has little doubt over the talents at the Colombian’s disposal but believes omitting Isco from the side – or selling Argentina star Di Maria – could be costly for Carlo Ancelotti.

“Madrid have two great offensive midfielders in Isco and James – it will be very interesting to see how they will line up,” Jarni told Goal.

“It took me by surprise that they bought James when they already have Isco, who is young, can score and who can make an extra man on every inch of the field.

“Another very important question is if Di Maria will stay or not. That will be a big loss. I know Carlo Ancelotti was against his departure last season. Di Maria was the man who turned the wheel when things went wrong for Madrid and Argentina. And after his injury at the World Cup, things didn’t work out for Argentina.”

The ex-full back did praise Madrid, though, for their purchase of Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos, who ended up 16th in this year’s Goal 50.

“He will fit into the team very well,” Jarni stated.

“He plays better offensively, although he is responsible in his defensive duties. It seems that Madrid signed him as a replacement for Sami Khedira, and that is a good thing because Kroos is much faster and better.

“He shouldn’t take Modric’s place because Luka had a great season and Ancelotti will perhaps use the 4-3-3 formation with Modric on the right, Kroos on the left and Xabi Alonso in the centre of midfield. If Ancelotti plays a 4-2-3-1 then Luka could be in trouble, with Kroos and Xabi taking defensive midfield positions.”

Jarni was part of the Croatia golden generation of the 1990s and spent one season at Madrid, also appearing for the likes of Real Betis, Torino and Juventus.

Click HERE to see the full list for the 2014 Goal 50


Do you agree with our list of the world’s 50 greatest players of the 2013-14 season?

Get involved via our Goal 50 section this month. Give us all your views on the debate by commenting below and by getting in touch on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #Goal50.