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Wednesday, June 7, 2017


The future of James Rodriguez is shrouded in doubt as the Colombia international continues to be linked with a move away from Real Madrid.

Jose Pekerman claims James Rodriguez's talents are not appreciated by club side Real Madrid, but the Colombia coach has no doubt as to his value to the national side.

The attacking midfielder has become an increasingly isolated figure at Santiago Bernabeu, his struggle for game time underlined by his exclusion from the Champions League final squad. 

Reports have linked the 25-year-old, who moved to Madrid from Monaco in 2014, with a switch to Manchester United, but Pekerman feels James may be generally under-appreciated in Europe.

"It is not the first time that there are great talents that in certain places can feel frustrated, because the styles or the football similarities do not coincide," he said ahead of Colombia's friendly with Spain on Wednesday.

"In football, full of pressure and with high dependence on the results, sometimes we need a player able to break the lines, this player with another kind of game.

"In general, the South American player is not so understood in Europe, because his style and creativity needs a stability that sometimes he cannot find.

"He is headstrong and works towards that. From our side, we always ask him to battle in order to find his place and to impose his abilities despite the difficulties. And he tries.

"I always perceived that the biggest players have this rebel character of wanting to play. They don't like to be on the outside. There is always a cost.

"We all want to have a good player, but when we have it, sometimes we ask him to do something that is not what he can do."
Despite his struggles for Madrid, Pekerman lauded Colombia captain James' influence for his country and suggested he would not be short of suitors.
"He feels happy with the national team," added the 67-year-old. "He wants to succeed here and accomplish things. Hopefully he can keep fighting in his current club and if not in this one, in another one that can value his abilities."
Madrid president Florentino Perez insisted at the weekend that coach Zinedine Zidane would be the man to make the final call on James' future, though the Frenchman has repeatedly refused to be drawn on the topic.