James Rodriguez gets more support when playing for Colombia than he does at Real Madrid, according to Carlos Bacca.
After a strong debut season at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2014-15, James found game time limited under Rafael Benitez at the start of last term.
The midfielder was given more opportunities following Zinedine Zidane’s appointment in January, but his professionalism and physical condition came in for criticism in the Spanish media.
Despite suffering a shoulder injury, James has scored twice in three Copa America Centenario appearances, and Bacca believes the confidence his Colombia team-mates have in him has been key to his change in form.
“James is our captain and always wants to play, even with pain,” the striker told Marca.
“He works for the team, in Madrid he gave a 100 per cent first season, but what happened was the club went through bad times with a coaching change.
“When Zidane entered he was not playing and it was difficult to get back in at once, as happened to Isco and Danilo.
“In Colombia he has the confidence of the coaching staff, which is the most important thing for a footballer.
“Here he is supported by everyone, as was the case in his first year in Madrid.”
Bacca scored 20 goals in all competitions in his debut season at AC Milan but, with the Italian side failing to qualify for European football, he has been linked with an exit.
The striker is aware of the external interest, however, Bacca insists his intention, for the time being, is to return to San Siro.
“My priority is Milan but I know there are offers and interest in me from clubs in Spain, England, Germany and France,” he added.
“Some have already spoken to my agent but he has not told me anything.
“For now I have four years on my contract with Milan and I do not know if they are willing to sell.”