Colombia's superstar James Rodriguez is a man under fire. He was declared injured by Real Madrid doctors over the previous weekend – after he pulled up injured in the warm-up before Madrid's draw with Eibar. Yet he elected to make the 8,000 km-odd journey to Bogota to join up with his national team ahead of the World Cup qualifiers. On landing, the Colombian team doctors immediately concurred with their Real Madrid counterparts and declared James unfit to play.
The decision to travel despite the injury has brought ire upon the Colombian star from Real Madrid fans. Their struggling team could certainly use James' creativity, and they weren't best pleased that the Colombian put his recovery at risk by undertaking the strenuous travel back home.
Also, Read – James Rodriguez calls Zidane his idol
That is small fry, though – a discontent Real Madrid fan is as much a part of being a Real Madrid player as breathing is – compared to the hate that he received from a few of Los Cafeteros fans on social media.
It may have been because of injury that James couldn't play, but trying telling that to the hardline group Legion Holk. One tweet from an account named @Frekeman (which has been subsequently suspended) tweeted -
“I am travelling to your house, coming armed. Say goodbye to everything you love #HolkLegion is watching over you”
The tweet was helpfully accompanied by a picture that showed a pistol and some ammunition – in case someone missed the threat part. Another disgraceful tweet also said “I see all these people crying because I killed a mediocre player.”
Pilar Rubio, Rodriguez's mum, reportedly read the tweets and filed a police complaint over the threats.
She later went on to tweet -
“What’s the matter with these people, are they mad? They have sent me a message saying that it would be better to see him dead”
James will miss Colombia's match against Uruguay – a crucial match in the context of South America World Cup Qualifiers – and it's only to be hoped that the extreme threats received were a one off.
However silly the threats may seem, Ms Rubio did well to take them seriously and file a complaint. Colombia has a long history of mixing violence and football. Andres Escobar, the talismanic captain of the wonderful '94 team, was a victim of the vicious violence when he got gunned down in a bar just ten days after he scored an unfortunate own goal in their surprise defeat against the United States of America in ‘94 World Cup.
It is to be hoped that those days are well behind us.
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