James Rodriguez has battled injuries all season, as he made his first appearance for Real Madrid since August last weekend.
James came on as a substitute, playing the final 30 minutes in Real’s 3-2 loss to Sevilla.
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Despite scoring a late goal in that appearance, Real manager Rafa Benitez was quoted as saying, “James wasn’t fit to play more than 30 minutes. He has a long way to go to get back to his best.”
On Thursday for Colombia, James played a full 90 minutes and scored the game-tying goal in a 1-1 draw against Chile. When asked how he felt after the match, James took a dig at Benitez, saying he was “totally fine, and yet some people keep saying I’m not fit”.
Benitez’s first year at Real Madrid has not been all smooth sailing, as supposed spats with Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, and now James Rodriquez have all been reported. After the loss to Sevilla, Real dropped to second place in La Liga, three points behind Barcelona.
Real’s next match is El Clasico against Barcelona, in front of a home crowd at the Bernabeu. If Real drops a second-straight match and falls six points off the leaders, with some tension between the players and the manager, Benitez will surely have some questions to answer.