"They have every right to whistle", was James' classy response to the impatient tribunal at the Bernabéu. A goal wasn't enough to silence the whistlers, but Real Madrid's no.10 was one of the best on a confused-looking team. It's been quite a while since we've seen the blanco steamroller of Real Madrid myth click into gear effortlessnessly. James is showing for Real Madrid; or at least he's trying. There's no denying that this season has been a disaster; he's gone from the front page to the back page, from the football pages to the gossip columns. The pressure doesn't end when he leaves Madrid either, the Colombia side has its own court of judges waiting for him in the stadium as the national team tries to resuscitate their Russia World Cup bid. James is up on trial for his country too.
A few weeks ago Pékerman was in Madrid to speak with James. The message was clear: the Colombia team is still built around James Rodriguez. The Argentine coach is not as quick as others to forget the past. Colombia face Equador and Bolivia and they need their star in Brazil 2014 mode. As soon as Madrid-Sevilla ends, where he'll start thanks to Isco's tantrum, he'll fly straight to Bogotá and join up with the international squad. He'll have four days to detox from the negativity surrounding him at Madrid and try return to being a leader of a team that is at risk of missing out on Russia 2018. James has an opportunity to recharge and rediscover form with his country before returning as a protagonist in the quest for the Undécima. After all, what happens in the Champions League will determine his future at Real Madrid.