James Rodriguez has been substituted several times after starting a Real Madrid game as one of Zinedine Zidane’s first eleven, but this time he looked as if he has had enough of it.
With 18 minutes to go at Leganes, the Colombian saw his number again in red, being called to give his place to Isco. On his way out, it was obvious he really did not like Zidane’s decision, and once he’d left the field, he reached his… boiling point and punched the back of his seat, with team-mate Marcelo trying to calm him down.
I have not spoken with him. It is normal that a player wants to play the full 90 minutes. These are things that happen and that is it. I don’t have anything against James, quite the opposite
Zidane said in the Press conference after his team’s 4-2 win, in which Rodriguez had actually played a big role, scoring the first goal, assisting Alvaro Morata to score his third goal early in the second half, and generally having a really productive game.
It is true that he isn’t on the pitch as much, but he is offensive and works hard. It happens with Karim [Benzema] too. I am happy with him and it is normal that he is annoyed to be substituted. He played well and I am pleased with that. I do things for the good of the team, I understand his annoyance but he is going to keep being important
the Real Madrid coach added. His words though would have more value if he had taken the two seconds to walk towards Rodriguez while substituting him, and giving him his hand or a simple pat on the back, as if acknowledging his positive contribution to the team in yesterday’s game.