Real Madrid are not showing the love James Rodriguez needs to perform at his best, according to former Colombia international Faustino Asprilla.
James, purchased from Monaco for €80million in 2014, enjoyed a fantastic first season with Madrid, scoring 17 goals and assisting 18 others in all competitions.
A muscle tear in his thigh hampered the beginning of the 2015-16 season, with the 24-year-old failing to cement his place in the Madrid XI.
However, Asprilla believes Madrid, under both Rafael Benitez and Zinedine Zidane, have failed to give the midfielder the attention he needs to get back to his best.
“It’s not that James performs better for the Colombian national team than at Real Madrid, but with Colombia they give him the importance a player with his characteristics needs,” former Newcastle United forward Asprilla told Marca.
“At Real Madrid they are not giving him the importance he needs. He is a young guy, with a lot of talent, but James has not been given the love he needs by his club.
“When [Carlo] Ancelotti was there, the player showed his true value. This season he has not been able to show anything because they have not given him that same special treatment.”
Asprilla did not hold back on comments towards former Madrid boss Benitez, who was replaced by Zidane at the start of January.
The 57-time Colombia international believes Benitez was at fault for James’ slump in form, as well as marginalising countrymen Juan Camilo Zuniga and Duvan Zapata when he was in charge of Serie A outfit Napoli.
“I honestly think that Benitez has something against Colombians, because it’s the only way to explain his actions towards my compatriots,” Asprilla added.
“James was coming off an exceptional season in his first year at the club, this man comes in and sends him to the bench.
“Although I don’t think this is because of a football decision, because in Napoli he totally marginalised the Colombians Camilo Zuniga and Duvan Zapata.”
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