James Rodriguez deserves more respect from Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid, according to former Colombia international Faustino Asprilla.
A €80million transfer from Monaco in 2014, James enjoyed a fruitful first season with Madrid, scoring 17 goals and assisting 18 others in all competitions.
However, his opportunities were cut short in 2015-16, with a muscle tear in his thigh also seeing him miss a small part of the season.
Asprilla believes James is not being given the respect he deserves at the Santiago Bernabeu, and said the only way he can prove his worth is if he gets more game time.
“If today he has not been able to demonstrate his quality, it is because the coach does not have him in his plans,” the 57-time international told Onda Cero.
“He is giving him very few minutes, and it is always a different thing if James goes out, or he doesn’t, or he goes out with his wife, or he doesn’t, or what he’s going to eat.
“These are extra things that don’t do anybody any good.
“Let James be able to say ‘put me on three or four games straight’, if he is not good enough and he plays badly, take him off and send him to the Castilla or some other team, but give him the opportunity.
“When he arrived at Real Madrid with [Carlo] Ancelotti, they gave him that chance and it’s no coincidence that with the Italian he played better than when Zidane arrived and he played badly.
“We are talking about the top goalscorer from the last World Cup. One has to have a bit of patience and respect.
“Karim Benzema has six, seven years at Real Madrid and they should have sent him back to Lyon, but he battled it out and they waited for him.
“For James he has lacked that confidence from Zidane and he needs a little bit more respect.”