James Rodriguez, one of the brightest talents to come out of Colombia, was bought for about 80 million Euros to Real Madrid as the President of the club, Florentino Perez, continued his high expenditures in order to bring the best players to the capital of Spain. Unfortunately, this is one gamble that simply isn’t working out.
The 2014 World Cup placed James Rodriguez on the stage that he needed to show exactly who he is as he conquered game after game with his amazing skill and more notably, his great eye for goal. Many haven’t heard of him before that but it certainly didn’t stop Perez from pursuing a player who will not only help Los Merengues in their chase for dominance but also increase the marketing side of the club in Colombia. This seemed like a very easy decision, what could possibly go wrong?
James Rodriguez could spend most of his days sitting on the Real Madrid bench and doing everything he can to get just a few minutes on the pitch… That is what could go wrong.
Last summer, everyone expected the Colombian midfielder to leave the club but Zinedine Zidane made it clear that he is still part of the plans and, even more convincing, James publicly stated that he wants to stay and fight for his place. From a Madridista perspective, it was great to see that a player with the capabilities of James who could go to almost any club he wants to, has chosen to stay put and do everything he can to become a starter. Unfortunately, things haven’t seemed to work out for him too well.
Playing the full 90 minutes against Cultural Leonesa in a match that Real Madrid won the first leg 1-7 and were easily beating them again, it seemed clear that James Rodriguez was not really in Zidane’s plans for the Clasico that was coming up only a few days later. Then, when the Clasico finally arrived, he was named in the squad but was (as we all expected) on the bench. Then came the moment of truth once again as many were watching to see how everything would unfold.
Real Madrid were losing 1-0 and time was running out. It was clear that Zidane had to make a change and many were expecting to see James make his appearance but the manager had different ideas as the three players that ended up coming on were Carlos Casemiro, Marco Asensio, and Mariano Diaz. In my opinion, I think that is the moment where James Rodriguez should make a decision. In the next transfer window, or maximum by the summer, he should look for a new club.
Not only is he not being trusted by his own manager, but he hasn’t gotten enough opportunities to impress either. With the injuries that happened throughout the season to Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale, and Casemiro, one would expect that James would probably get a chance soon but players like Isco, Asensio, and Lucas Vazquez were chosen instead and they were able to impress enough to keep being chosen.
I personally like James Rodriguez and I genuinely feel bad for him since he shouldn’t be warming up a bench in his prime years of football. You can see it on his face that any shred of happiness and willingness to fight is practically gone. It seems like the only way he will be able to regain that passion is by leaving and he is still at a point where he can go to a big European club or at least one that is fighting. For some reason, I have a feeling that he will thrive in England, and more specifically at Tottenham Hotspur or Liverpool: Two great clubs with extraordinary managers that will bring out the best in the Colombian international.
James Rodriguez simply does not fit at Real Madrid and it’s about time that we accept that difficult truth.