James Rodriguez was an unused substitute during El Clasico on Saturday, increasing speculation that the Colombia international will be sold by Real Madrid this summer.
The 24-year-old is a hugely talented footballer, but whether his attitude matches his ability is up for debate.
James might be too scared to knock on Zinedine Zidane’s door and demand that he plays; however, one person who isn’t afraid to voice their opinions is the Colombian’s mother, Pilar Rubio Gomez.
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After Real Madrid’s starting line-up for the Barcelona match was published on Saturday night, she tweeted: "No surprises for 15 days.”
Pilar also believes that her son should be played in his favoured position, behind the striker, rather than out wide.
"James should play where he feels comfortable and not cover holes" she added. "To criticise James and Isco by comparing him with Casemiro, they don't understand they are very different. In the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed man is king."
Casemiro has made it harder for James
Casemiro played a key role for Los Blancos in their surprise 2-1 win at Camp Nou.
The holding midfielder’s display could make it even harder for James to regain his place in Zidane’s starting line-up.
The left-footed playmaker has played 105 minutes of Real Madrid’s previous five matches and reports this week have claimed that the Spanish giants will sell him for £60 million at the end of the season.
James and Isco could both leave - Balague
Isco, also an unused substitute during El Clasico, could also leave the Bernabeu this summer, according to Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.
“Real Madrid would love to sell those two!” Balague said, referring to James and Isco, last week. “Again both agents, Jorge Mendes in the case of James, are looking for teams in England. Isco would like to go to England as well.
“I feel Isco hasn’t got the quality to be a regular at Real Madrid and James doesn’t seem to have the mentality to be at the elite because he moans a lot if he doesn’t play and if he’s not treated the way he wants to be treated. Get on with it man!”.
Zidane wanted James to get in shape
Zidane was prepared to give James a fair crack of the whip after his promotion to the role of head coach in January.
There were reports that Zidane was angry with the South American’s attitude and lack of effort in training - and while this was denied by the inexperienced French coach, he admitted James needed to train hard to get in shape.
"I am interested in what we do here and he is very involved, very committed. I don't believe what is being said about him,” Zidane was quoted as saying by FourFourTwo. "I am not more concerned with him than any of the others. I am close to him. I don't see him worried. He is relaxed.
"The important thing is to work hard and get in shape. We spoke on Friday and he is relaxed. The idea is that he is in top shape. This week he is ready to play.
"I think James had a very good week. Like they all did. I am happy with what he is doing. He is working very hard and we know how important he is. He is prepared."
But almost three months later and it seems James has not done enough on the training ground to leave Zidane satisfied.
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