Real Madrid’s No.10 James Rodriguez has endured some difficult moments at Santiago Bernabeu and the summer ahead of us could be decisive when it comes to the future of the Colombia international.
An impressive World Cup showing was more than enough of a recommendation for Real Madrid to pounce for the Colombia international back in 2014 and spend no less than €80 on what had been deemed as both fashionable and high-quality signing from AS Monaco at the time.
Having become the most expensive Colombian footballer and one of the most expensive ones in general at the time, Rodriguez was forced to battle high expectations from the football world.
The bar was raised immediately as Rodriguez was handed the famous number 10 shirt, but with all things considered it remains a sad truth that the Colombia international ultimately failed to carry the legacy of legends such as Luis Figo, Ferenc Puskas or his idol and current head coach Zinedine Zidane.
Where did it go wrong for James Rodriguez and Real Madrid?
Rodriguez made 29 La Liga appearances all of which were starts in his debut season in Spain, but his overall contribution showed a steady decline over the next two seasons. Mere 17 starts in the 2015/16 season were followed by only 13 of them this term, even though the Colombian managed to score one goal more than he did in the previous season.
Zinedine Zidane did not trust the midfielder with a more prominent role and reasons for a disappointing development for Rodriguez at Santiago Bernabeu are not entirely pitch-related.
Reported weight issues which saw Rodriguez get clocked with a body fat index of no less than 13% played a huge part in Real Madrid star’s struggles. Required body fat index needs to be closer to 7% and this huge difference made a huge problem for the Colombian, who also struggled to accept criticism of his body shape.
Moreover, the versatile playmaker demonstrated great deal of immaturity and lack of professionalism when being left out in the cold as he struggled mentally to accept the fact he was not picked as automatic first-team choice.
His public outbursts about Real Madrid frustration made things even worse with Zinedine Zidane, who did make a strong attempt to rectify things with his player earlier in February.
What next for Rodriguez?
The combination of Rodriguez’s off-pitch struggled and inability to get out of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale’s shadow has cast a huge doubt on James Rodriguez’s future at Santiago Bernabeu.
A versatile footballer who can fill in a number of positions across the midfield or attacking line has been thus far deployed as a playmaker, winger and central midfielder. Rodriguez thrives in a more advanced attacking midfielder role, just behind the strikers, and he could be a valuable asset for most of Europe’s big guns. And, in order to get his career back on track and prove that he still is a world-class footballer, Rodriguez will need to move elsewhere during the summer transfer window.
He was given a warm sendoff in the 4-1 win over Sevilla when he was substituted 60 minutes into the match from Real Madrid most faithful. A standing ovation from the capacity crowd elicited a touching moment from the Colombian star who appeared to be waving goodbye to the club, city and the supporters.
Summer transfer imminent
Zinedine Zidane has subsequently dismissed exit talks which could have been expected from an experienced manager who does not want to divert the focus from his team’s tense La Liga title race and highly-anticipated Champions League final.
However, the summer is bound to bring plenty of action regarding James Rodriguez who is reportedly being valued at whopping €75 million, which is only five million less than what Real Madrid invested in the player.
Rodriguez is believed to boast enough talent to fit right into the highly-ambitious project at Old Trafford and his possible purchase would only be another statement of intent from the Red Devils, who appear prepared to invest heavily once more in order to re-claim their spot among the best of the best in England and Europe.
Would Manchester United transfer be a good move for the Colombian?
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