Tuesday, May 21, 2019

James needs to be playing regularly, says new Colombia boss Queiroz

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 8 Feb 2019

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James Rodriguez needs to be playing regularly to enable him to be at his peak for Colombia, according to new national coach Carlos Queiroz.

The 27-year-old has struggled for regular first-team football at Bayern Munich this season as Niko Kovac has instead opted for the likes of Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry in midfield.

James enjoyed an impressive first season on loan at the Bundesliga champions, scoring seven goals as they cruised to the title under Jupp Heynckes.

And Colombia boss Queiroz – who left his role as Iran coach after the Asian Cup – hopes to see a return to that form after taking over from Jose Pekerman on a contract that runs until the 2022 World Cup.

“I will need to talk to James,” the former Iran coach told a media conference. “For a player of his calibre he needs to be playing as much as possible, that’s very important.

“But when you have a chance to play for Real [Madrid], Manchester United or Bayern [Munich], sometimes players have to make sacrifices.

“I want to talk to him soon, though.”

Queiroz takes charge after Pekerman left his role following Colombia’s last-16 exit at the World Cup in Russia, and his first major task will be this year’s Copa America.

Colombia finished third in 2016 – their best finish since winning the tournament in 2001 – and Queiroz hopes he can improve on that in Brazil in June.

“I can’t guarantee that [we’ll win the Copa],” added the 65-year-old. “But I can ensure that we will put this shirt in its highest position possible.

“[But] everybody wants the same – to win. So it’s complicated.

“You always have to try to win, football’s a simple game. And if it’s doing it in a rock-and-roll style, we’ll do it, if it’s samba style, we’ll also do it.

“Pekerman has left a fantastic legacy. It’s an honour to be here, and I’m grateful to the FCF [Colombian Football Federation] for wanting me.” 

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