Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez enjoy a very close relationship, but former Colombia international Faustino Asprilla feels that the Portuguese superstar is a bad influence on the Colombian playmaker.
Ronaldo and James have played together for Real Madrid since the summer of 2014, but Asprilla feels that James inspired by Ronaldo is not showing enough respect to his team-mates.
Speaking to ESPN Deportes, Asprilla said:
"James is my friend and I love him a lot.
"But I can see that his friendship with Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid is damaging him.
"He now has the same gestures as Ronaldo when he doesn't get the ball. Ronaldo makes gestures at everyone when he doesn't get the ball, and James is doing the same with Colombia."
The former Colombian international picked out one moment in particular when James threw up his arms in frustration after not receiving a pass from teammate Eder Balanta.
"Near the start of the game he gave out to Balanta because he didn't pass him the ball," Asprilla said.
"James needs to improve with his teammates because he is playing in a team with many youngsters, and nobody stands up to him.”
James has struggled a bit in his spell at Real Madrid and Colombian fans will be hoping that the atmosphere and trials at the Spanish capital don’t affect his form for the national team.
Rodriguez unhappy with present situation, insists he and Zidane still share a good relationship
The Colombian superstar wants to be a regular part of the starting line-up, but Zidane explained why he was not getting enough play time.
“Each player has a different situation,” Zidane said. “I try and show everyone in the squad that they are important. At the moment James is playing less. But the idea is the same, that he can help us.
“I know he wants to play more, they all do, but I try to help the team in each game, and that is not going to change.I want James here with me, for him to play for us, and nothing more.”
James himself commented on the situation. Speaking to RCN, he said:
“I want to play more. But hey, there’s someone (Zidane) who commands all and it is he who says who plays who does not play. He takes decisions and he calls the shots. You have to respect all that.”
Speaking about his relationship with Zidane, James said:
“It is not how everyone says (his relationship with Zidane). It is a relationship that is fit between a player and a coach. I’m in a club where everyone wants to win and you are always needed to play well. It is the biggest (club) worldwide, that is Real Madrid.”
Rodriguez’s future has been subject to intense speculation and it will be interesting to see if the Colombian stays at Los Blancos beyond the January transfer window
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