After shining against Ecuador on Tuesday, Colombia soccer star James Rodriguez indicated that a lack of support is affecting his performances at Real Madrid.
The Madrid forward proved crucial in helping Colombia to defeat Bolivia and Ecuador in the last week, netting once and providing two assists.
Following the victory over Ecuador, James told reporters, “it is so much easier when you are actually playing and feel the support of everyone around you,” explaining his recent upturn in form.
James was purchased by Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2014 from Monaco for €80 million and enjoyed an excellent debut season scoring 17 goals and providing 18 assists in all competitions.
A muscle tear in his thigh hampered the beginning of the 2015-16 season, with the 24-year-old struggling to hit the same heights.
A frayed relationship with previous Real boss Rafa Benitez also contributed to his dip in form and he has also failed to cement a permanent place in the starting XI under new manager Zinedine Zidane,
The situation at international level is very different with the play-maker playing a prominent role in the “Cafeteros” 3-2 win over Bolivia last week and Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Ecuador in Barranquilla.
Speaking after the victory on Tuesday, James expressed his satisfaction with his performances for the national team, “I would have liked to score, but I am very happy about how these two games went.”
Earlier this week former Colombia international Faustino Asprilla came out in support of James and criticized both Benitez and Zidane for not giving the midfielder the attention he needs to get back to his best.
“It’s not that James performs better for the Colombian national team than at Real Madrid, but with Colombia they give him the importance a player with his characteristics needs,” said the former Newcastle United forward.
“When [Carlo] Ancelotti was there, the player showed his true value. This season he has not been able to show anything because they have not given him that same special treatment”, added the 57-time Colombia international.
Reports in Spain have claimed in recent weeks that Real Madrid officials are ready to part ways with James in the summer amid questions over his commitment to the team.
Zidane has failed to quash those rumors in recent weeks after leaving him on the bench in the last three league games.
Despite his performances for Colombia, Zidane is still expected to overlook James for the trip to Barcelona this weekend favoring holding midfielder Casemiro instead.
James has netted just six goals in 23 appearances for Madrid this season.