Valderrama Blames Real Madrid Manager Zinedine Zidane for James Rodríguez’s Lack of Playing Time

Lead Photo: Photo licensed under the CC BY 2.0 license.
Photo licensed under the CC BY 2.0 license.
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In continuing with the long and storied tradition of soccer legends giving their unsolicited opinions at every turn–hi, Maradona–Colombian soccer and hair icon Carlos Valderrama has weighed in on the current travails of Real Madrid midfielder James Rodríguez.

El Pibe says that it is not James’ fault that he does not get much playing time on the merengues side as they make their way towards a potential La Liga/Champions League double, No, the blame instead should lay on Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, as the Frenchman doesn’t choose the Colombian star often enough for Valderrama’s liking, despite good performances. “Every time [James] gets a chance, he plays well,” said Valderrama. “The rest is a problem with the coach, because James plays well every time he is given a chance.”

The still-blonde Valderrama also insinuated that James has the talent to play in any club in the world, which ties into continuing rumors that the Colombian #10 might be on the move from Real Madrid this summer. Among possible landing spots for the 2014 World Cup hero are Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester United. The latter has been the most consistently mentioned club for Rodríguez, although his preferred position–attacking midfielder behind a sole striker–might not be available, as United has Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan already on the payroll.

Regardless, it does appear that James’ days at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu are numbered. After joining the club days after the 2014 World Cup, where he led all scorers with 6 goals, James’ playtime has been limited by both injuries and circustamce. At the moment, he is behind both Isco and Marco Asension on the depth chart, although his late substitution and goal in El Clásico almost secured a point for Spain’s biggest club, before Lionel Messi did Lionel Messi things.