Football

Rodriguez is hugely out of favour at the Bernabeu.

Carlos Valderrama: Zinedine Zidane dislikes Real Madrid's James Rodriguez

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James Rodriguez has endured a difficult spell at Real Madrid since signing in 2014.

The 24-year-old joined Los Blancos from Monaco in a deal worth £58 million after impressing for Colombia at the Brazil World Cup and was widely tipped to thrive at the Bernabeu.

Yet it hasn't quite worked out that way for Rodriguez. He finds himself on the fringe of Real's squad at present, playing second fiddle to the likes of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

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His form has considerably dipped over the course of the last year, with many speculating as to why he's shown so little faith in the Spanish capital.

However, Colombia legend Carlos Valderrama believes he knows why his countryman has been frozen out at the Bernabeu - and it isn't because of his form.

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No, Valderrama believes it's because manager Zinedine Zidane dislikes Rodriguez.

He said, according to the Daily Mail: "Even if he (Rodriguez) scores three, four or five goals, Zidane won't put him on.

"James is a player he does not like."

Valderrama continued to express confusion at why Zidane hasn't given Rodriguez a chance like those before him did.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-ATLETICO

"Carlo Ancelotti put him on and he played well," he continued, "and then later with Benitez, but not with Zidane.

"So we do not understand what is happening with him."

Injuries certainly haven't helped Rodriguez's bid to secure greater first team opportunities at the Bernabeu, yet one start in Real's last five games speaks volumes about how out of favour he is.

The Colombia international started on the bench during his side's 0-0 draw away to Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday night in a fixture where the visitors struggled to create clear-cut opportunities.

Gareth Bale tried his damnedest to break the deadlock, but there's little doubting Rodriguez's creativity could have proved the difference at the Etihad.

Manchester City FC v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg

Real must now do the job at the Bernabeu next Wednesday to keep their dream of another Champions League title alive.

However, they might have to do so without Cristiano Ronaldo, who was forced to miss the first leg because of a tear in his thigh muscle.

What was first suspected to be cramp has now become a major worry for Real amidst their pursuit of La Liga and Champions League glory.

According to The Sun, Ronaldo will undergo the same revolutionary stem cell treatment that saved tennis ace Rafael Nadal's career in a bid to ensure he's fit to face City in the second leg.

The Portugal international will definitely sit out of this weekend's league clash with Real Sociedad but has an outside chance of returning next week if the therapy is successful.

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Topics:
Gareth Bale
La Liga
Real Madrid
Football
Cristiano Ronaldo
James Rodriguez
UEFA Champions League
Europa League

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