James Rodriguez's future at Real Madrid in doubt again after being left out of matchday squad
James Rodriguez has been left out of the Real Madrid squad to face Real Betis on Saturday. His exclusion comes at the cost of his inability to recover to full fitness since complaining of a calf strain early in October. After yet another controversy, senior officials at the club now believe only he can jeopardise his future at Real Madrid.
Rodriguez is seen as one of the brightest stars but has failed to find much playing time at the club ever since a promising first season and has thus missed out on a regular first-team birth. The Colombian seems to have fallen out of favour and was made available in the transfer window last season by manager Zinedine Zidane. However, the player continued at the club and it appeared as if his career would take a u-turn after a series of impressive performances off the bench in September.
“James has not been starting games, but he can,” said Zidane of the Colombia international.
“Not just for the 15 minutes he played [against Sporting]. What I value is the day-to-day work, and James is doing that well. He will get his chances, today he came on and made the difference. I am happy with his performance.”
Now, Rodriguez’s career at Santiago Bernabeu seems to be in question again, this time, due to a club vs country row. The attacking midfielder has been recovering and in spite of the injury, Rodriguez travelled for his national team’s games against Real’s advice and that has prevented his timely recovery which has drawn a lot of flak.
It all began when the player himself withdrew from the squad for the game against Eibar. Following his decision, the club later expected him to stay in Madrid and recuperate but he instead jetted off for the World Cup qualifiers. As it turns out, neither did Rodriguez manage to play the qualifiers nor did he recover in time to meet club expectations.
Leading Madrid opinionists have criticised the 25-year-old’s actions, accusing him of "again taking the piss out of [Real Madrid]." One of the officials has also reportedly issued a stern warning to the Colombian captain by saying, "This cannot happen."
On top of not heeding to advice, Rodriguez seems to have agitated the club officials for not supporting them in avoiding any more injuries on the roster. Real Madrid is already without Casemiro and Luka Modric for up to six weeks, and last week Sergio Ramos was the third amongst their key players to join the injury list.
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