Not everybody is happy that Real Madrid midfielder James Rodríguez is not getting enough game time under Zinedine Zidane, not least of which is a former Colombia international, Faustino Asprilla, who said he would tell the Los Blancos boss to “eat sh*t” if he was in the midfielder’s shoes.
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Rodríguez returned to Madrid last summer with the goal of forcing his way back into Zidane’s plans after a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich. The Spanish giants signed the Colombian playmaker from Monaco for a reported €75 million after he won the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. But since arriving in the Spanish capital, the 28-year-old has failed to fire on a consistent basis, which has seen him slip even further down the pecking order this season.
The midfielder has seen just 13 appearances in all competitions for Madrid, so far, this season with questions now being asked over whether or not he has the drive to turn his career at the club around. But with a modest track record to show for his time here, it may not see him getting any improved game time, looking ahead. Zidane’s men returned to training in May as lockdown measures in Spain began to ease following the coronavirus-enforced outbreak in mid-March.
The Frenchman’s side ran out for their first fixture against Eibar at home on Sunday, closing out the affair as 3-1 winners after goals from Toni Kross, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo Vieira, all in the first half. Rodríguez was named on the bench with Zidane afforded the option of up to five substitutions due to new top-flight rules. But all he did was watch on as Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao, Gareth Bale, Vinicius Junior and Fede Valverde were all brought on ahead of him.
It is for this reason that Asprilla said he does not understand why his compatriot has been pushed out of contention for regular minutes and believes the former Monaco man has been far too patient with Zidane. “James isn’t irresponsible. “He trains every day just like everyone else,” The former Colombia forward told the Colombian radio station Blu Radio.
“The coaches say that all players are the same to give motivation to substitutes, but they have three or four who always play. At Real Madrid, there are players who come from lower down and who come up. Don’t tell me that the top scorer of a World Cup is below Mariano or whoever in the pecking order. There’s a need for a little respect. James is patient, but I would tell Zidane to ‘eat sh*t’!”
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