Colombia boss Jose Pekerman has told James Rodriguez “to be patient” as the Real Madrid midfielder tries to establish himself under Zinedine Zidane.
The 24-year-old has struggled to hit the heights of last season in 2015-16, with a thigh injury and reported discord with Rafa Benitez hindering his progress.
James has also yet to start a game under Zidane, although that could change following an injury to Gareth Bale, and Pekerman is keeping the faith.
“He hoped there would be a coaching change and that the situation with Benitez would be resolved because he wanted to recapture his form of last season,” he told El Tiempo.
“I reassured him and still think the change will be positive for him.
“I still believe James is a great professional. He knows what it means to play for his country and has the mentality to succeed.
“It’s a bad spell and a new experience for a young man who has grown up very fast.
“Like all great players, he’s had a dip, but we haven’t lost the hope of him getting back to his best.
“He has to be patient. He is unsurpassed [in the national team] and has everything needed [to play for Madrid].
“We all want him to start [for Madrid] and translate them to the national team. He knows we need him in good shape.”