Faustino Asprilla believes Real Madrid need to have shown more ‘love’ to James Rodriguez to get the best out of him and points the finger at Rafa Benitez.
James’ future at Santiago Bernabeu is in doubt amid reports the club will listen to offers for him in the summer and Asprilla has told Marca that if it hasn’t worked out for the Colombia international at Madrid, the club is partly to blame.
“It’s not that James is more productive for Colombia than Madrid but there he is given real importance which he needs,” the former Newcastle and Parma forward said.
“Madrid aren’t giving him the importance he needs. He’s a young boy, very talented, but James hasn’t had the love he needs at the club.
“When he was with Carlo Ancelotti he showed his true value. This season he couldn’t prove anything because he wasn’t given the special treatment every player needs at their club.”
Asprilla went further and specifically blamed Rafa Benitez – now in charge of his former club on Tyneside – and suggested he has a bias against Colombians.
“I sincerely believe that. It’s the only way I can explain his attitude against my compatriots,” he continued.
“James had an exceptional season in his first year at the club, then this man comes and sends him to the bench.
“I don’t think it’s because of his footballing attitude, as he totally marginalised Camilo Zuniga and Duvan Zapata at Napoli.”