Former Newcastle United forward Faustino Asprilla claims that fellow Colombian, James Rodriguez is picking up bad habits from his Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Asprilla believes that the Portuguese star is a bad influence on Rodriguez, with the Colombia international now replicating many of the negative on-field actions we’re used to seeing with Ronaldo - which often highlights his desire to win.
He’s obviously going to be drawing a lot of attention, considering he’s now Colombia’s biggest footballing star following the decline of Radamel Falcao, but Asprilla claims that working with a superstar such as Ronaldo has gone to his head.
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Speaking to ESPN, he explained that he’s seen a lot of negative body language and gestures when things don’t go his way, similar those he’s seen from Ronaldo at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Focusing on James’ actions during Colombia’s 3-0 loss to Argentina earlier in the week, he said: “Lately, what I am seeing from James – who I love and respect a lot – is that his friendship with Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid is damaging him.
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“He has the same gestures when they don’t give him the ball [in the Colombia team]. When they don’t give Cristiano the ball, he gesticulates to everyone. In Colombia, [James] waves his arms at his teammates.
“At the start of the game, he scowled at Alvarez Balanta and made a gesture. I don’t know if it was because he didn’t pass the ball or not.”
Asprilla, who won 57 caps for the Colombian national team, went on to say that the former Monaco and Porto star needs to show more respect to his teammates, and it’s likely that he would ‘get a slap’ if he tried the antics in any other team.
He added: “The first thing James needs to do is help his teammates improve because he’s playing in a team of youngsters who respect him, and no-one dares say anything to him.
“In another team, they’d give him a slap. At least in the Colombia side I played in, we wouldn’t stand for it.
“It’s normal to argue with the referee and quarrel with rival players, but with your teammates, it’s not. You can quarrel, but doing it because one of your teammates didn’t pass you the ball is the ugliest thing you can do as a footballer.
“He’s picked up that habit from Cristiano Ronaldo, who does it every eight days.”