MANCHESTER CITY-REAL MADRID
James Rodríguez on the bench for the third game running
James started the Champions League semi-final first leg against Man City on the subs' bench and played no part at the Etihad. His situation contrasts starkly with that of 12 months ago.
One year on, James Rodríguez's situation at Real Madrid has suffered a complete turnaround. The Colombian started on the bench in the Champions League semi-final against Manchester City - his third consecutive game on the bench as he was left out of the line-up against Villarreal and Rayo. In the last two games, he has barely played 15 minutes coming on as a sub... and at the Etihad he didn't even come off the bench.
His situation is in sharp contrast to what it was 12 months ago. This time last year, James was a first choice regular and started both legs of the semi-final against Juventus, despite missing 12 games through injury and one through suspension he was the ninth player in the squad to have enjoyed most minutes Now he is the 15th in terms of playing time and out of Real Madrid's 55 matches this term, he's only started 19 (he missed 11 because of injury).
And almost as soon as the season is over, he will face a court appearance to explain why he was caught speeding and why he failed to stop when called to pull over by an unmarked police car on Madrid's M40 at the start of the New Year. According to El Confidencial, the court case has been put back to accomodate Real Madrid should they reach the Champions League final, and will take place on either Monday 30th or Tuesday 31st May.