International breaks aren’t often the best time for some clubs who end up losing a multitude of players to their countries, however for James Rodriguez, it has provided a window of opportunity to work hard and force certain issues, in particular the case to convince Zinedine Zidane that he’s worth a starting place at Real Madrid.
There’s little more that the player could’ve done over this past fortnight because his contribution for Colombia has been spot on and he’s delivered when it mattered.
Captain of his selection is seemingly a responsibility that suits him if his performances of late are the benchmark.
A goal and an assist against Venezuela will have made Zidane sit up and take notice and perhaps it’s time for the Frenchman to give him a chance again at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Ahead are seven games in just 22 days, a succession of matches where, if given a run in the side, the Colombian believes he can be the difference.
It would afford him the chance to recapture the form of his first season for Los Blancos – when he became an idol to the supporters – and therefore to regain the starting spot that he lost a few months ago.
Against Celta Vigo last time out, James was again a substitute, the same as for the European Super Cup and the fixture at the Estadio de Anoeta.
Three matches and a long face on the bench sitting next to Zidane.
22 minutes played against the Galicians was enough for him to at least be involved in the winning goal, his tenacity helping to recover the ball which eventually led to Toni Kroos’ accomplished finish.
In James’ favour at this point too is the absence of one of his direct competitors, Isco.
Injury means the young Spaniard will not be in the starting eleven and although it’s true that Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio and Alvaro Morata are able to play, both Ronaldo and Benzema are just coming back from injury and therefore shouldn’t be risked for the entirety of the game against Osasuna, if at all.
“I just try to play well, train strong and wait for an opportunity to play,” the Colombian told reporters recently.
Asensio, Casemiro and Lucas Vazquez are players that have seen a 180 degree turn in their careers at Real Madrid thanks to some sterling work out on the pitch.
James will hope to be next.
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