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Let's forget the James Rodríguez car chase and focus on his football

James Rodríguez was pichichi at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil and became an international media celebrity. That shouldn’t be forgotten. His left foot, vision and technique made him front page news long before car chases, parties and whatever else followed. That people have finally started talking about his football again is a great relief and a step towards normality. This isn’t his finest moment, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s also clear that in the right company he can be a terrorise defences. It took time for him to show what he can do in the Villamarín, but Madrid were hardly the machine we expect that day.

The number 10 sells millions of jerseys, the way Florentino likes it, but he’s also a special player, bringing something different to the team and raising the level, both individually and collectively. Zidane knows it, he's seen it. James is intelligent, he knows he has to get back to playing the type of football that caused all the fuss in the first place. Overcoming his own ego and the naysayers will happen on the pitch, that’s the challenge facing him. Real Madrid is not an easy to club to triumph, few survive in anonymity, and James is destined to a difficult path. He needs the confidence to get back to what he was.