Former Colombia international player Faustino Asprilla claims Zinedine Zidane is the reason James Rodriguez seem to have declined after displaying quality talents in his country’s 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil.
Image: Faustino Asprilla
Asprilla believes that James, who was the biggest revelation of 2014, is facing a big fight not only against the coach but also the Spanish press.
Football Espana confirms that Asprilla [a former Parma and Newcastle player] appeared on Onda Cero to discuss his compatriot, whose future at Real Madrid remains uncertain.
AS quotes the 46-year-old as saying: “There’s a Press campaign against James from much of the Press. It’s one thing if he doesn’t start and doesn’t play, but it’s another when they get into private affairs.
“If he laughs or doesn’t laugh, if he goes out with friends…I think these extra-football things aren’t good for football, or James, or Madrid or anyone.”
Image: Faustino Asprilla in action for Columbia against Argentina.
He continues: “James is able to say ‘give me three games, four games,’ if he isn’t capable, if he doesn’t play well, then yes, take him out and send him to Castilla or another team, but give him the chance, because when he arrived at Madrid [Carlo] Ancelotti gave him the chance and it’s no coincidence he played well and then the next year it’s [Zinedine] Zidane and he plays badly.
“We’re talking about the top scorer at the last World Cup.
“You have to have a little patience and even more because it takes many years…Karim Benzema has six, seven years at Madrid and in the first two they had to send him back to Lyon. They endured it, they waited for him.
“If today he’s not able to continue to demonstrate his worth it’s because the Coach won’t take this into account or doesn’t take it into account. He’s given very few minutes, which is a totally different thing to if he goes out, or doesn’t, or is with women, if he goes to eat, these are extra things that don’t do any good for games.
“Gareth Bale? We’re talking about James, probably the great figure in Colombian football today. He had an extraordinary World Cup and if Madrid paid that much they should respect him and give him opportunities, because Bale, the first year he wasn’t half of what he was at Tottenham Hotspur. James hasn’t had Zidane’s confidence or respect.”
Asprilla was known by supporters in his home country as The Octopus for his voracious appetite. In 1993, he was named by FIFA as the sixth best player in the world.
Image: James Rodriguez