DAVIE — Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James swapped jerseys with Real Madrid star Gareth Bale at the conclusion of Saturday Night’s El Clasico at Hard Rock Stadium.
“It was a cool experience,” said James, who cited Bale as his favorite player. “We swapped jerseys. He signed it for me. I’m going to go get it framed, too. As soon as camp is over I’m going to put it in the man cave.”
James met an El Clasico organizer and a representative of Real Madrid at an announcement dinner for the contest between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
James told them about his love of soccer and how he admires Bale. So the groundwork was laid for a meeting.
If Bale was an NFL player, James said he’d be a wide receiver.
“Man, he’s speed, straight speed,” James said. “He literally runs like a deer. And that was cool, too, last night, seeing those guys you know. They’re professionals and we’re professionals. So to see them in their spotlight and be so close and see how fast they move and how athletic they are was pretty special.”
James said it was a lot of fun to be a guest in the stadium in which he plays.
“Honestly, it was being a fan again,” he said. “Being a fan again, actually in our own stadium. I was sitting next to (Jermon) Bushrod and (Reshad) Jones. And we sat in the ’72 club. We were like, ‘Man, people sit up here in recliner couches and TVs and watch us play? It would be cool to sit up here and watch us play.’ It was just crazy, man, a great experience. I’m excited now for those night games we have this year because I feel like we’re going to have that atmosphere, like we had last night.”
The Dolphins have home preseason night games against the Falcons (August 10) and Ravens (August 17) as well as a Sunday night home game against the Oakland Raiders (October 26).
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