James Rodriguez breaks silence on Everton exit and makes Rafa Benitez admission

Former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich playmaker James Rodriguez departed Everton after just more than one season.

James Rodriguez has claimed that he wanted to remain at Everton - but left because of Rafa Benitez.

The Toffees pulled off a major coup to sign the Colombia international in the summer of 2020.

The two-time Champions League winner reunited with Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park, having previously worked together at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

In total, Rodriguez recorded six goals and nine assists for Everton last season.

But after Rafa Benitez succeeded Carlo Ancelotti as manager - after the Italian returned to Madrid last June- the attacking midfielder was swiftly deemed surplus to requirements.

Everton playmaker James Rodriguez. Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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Rodriguez eventually moved to Qatari outfit Al Rayyan for an undisclosed fee in September having been frozen out of the now-sacked Benitez's plans.

The playmaker made only 27 appearances for Everton.

But speaking on Twitch, Rodriguez revealed he wanted to stay at the Blues - but claimed Benitez didn’t ‘count’ on him.

Rodriguez said: “I would have liked to have been at Everton for much longer. It’s a spectacular club, the fans are incredible, but I ran into a coach who didn’t want to count on me. I wanted to be there.

“Unfortunately, the coach didn’t want to count on me.”