Zinedine Zidane insists James Rodriguez remains “fully committed” to Real Madrid, despite the Colombian struggling to hold down a regular place in the first team this season.
The €80million signing scored 17 goals in his debut campaign with the club but has failed to hit the same heights in his second year in the Spanish capital.
While helping Colombia record back-to-back wins in World Cup qualifying during the recent international break, James admitted he felt comfortable “feeling the support” of everyone around him when playing for the national team.
Zidane understands that no player is ever happy being stuck on the bench, yet the Frenchman made it clear at Friday’s media conference that he has to make tough choices over who is picked in the starting XI.
“It is clear what he said, he is happy here, sometimes there are little problems, but things are taken out of context,” Zidane said.
“He is fully committed and you’ll always see some people who think they are not going to play, it is normal that it bothers them.
“You say things when you go with the national side, but he is committed.
“My problem is I am the one to take decisions that I think are best for the team in each moment.”
James and the rest of the Madrid squad take on Barcelona at Camp Nou in the second El Clasico of the season on Saturday. The visitors sit 10 points behind their table-topping hosts with just eight games to play.