Florentino Perez has a habit of going after footballers who make their name on the grandest of stages, and the Madrid president made such a move in the summer of 2014 with midfielder James Rodriguez. The Colombian international was coming off a fantastic World Cup performance in Brazil, capturing the tournament’s Golden Boot honours.
Possessing excellent pace, skill on the ball and able to play in a variety of different positions, the 25-year-olds’ quality is certainly impressive.
But Rodriguez’s time at the Bernabeu has not always been a dream, with managerial changes and competition within the line-up contributing to a lack of recent playing time. Zidane has preferred others in the midfield, such as Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.
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In the attack, Alvaro Morata and Lucas Vazquez have often combined with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema on the front-line. Rodriguez has scored two goals and recorded five assists in 14 La Liga appearances this year.
Reports suggest that the Colombian is unhappy and could be leaving Madrid this summer, certainly with no shortage of eager clubs to sign him. The form that Rodriguez displays to finish out the current term will have a great influence on how his future plans come together.
With an eye towards more playing time, James Rodriguez will be playing for his own future success.