What James lacks at Madrid, he gets in Colombia in spades

Two images from Colombia’s game against Venezuela on Thursday corroborate that what James lacks in Madrid, he receives in abundance in his home country. Firstly, the sight of the number 10 with the captain’s armband, bossing the right hand side of the pitch in Barranquilla, possessing clarity when passing the ball, leaving his mark expertly and leading from the front in a game where the statistics show he scored one goal and gave one assist.

Colombia responded to pressure with maturity 

Colombia’s opponent was Venezuela, last in the table, but also one of the teams that have given Colombia trouble at home in the past. A draw though would have been inexcusable. There was pressure from the press and the supporters to which José Pékerman’s men responded not only with their football but with maturity.

Colombia player James Rodriguez (L) and coach Jose Pekerman celebrate a goal against Venezuela during their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying football match at the Roberto Melendez stadium in Barranquilla

Pékerman showed James respect

The second image is the embrace between James and Pékerman. The coach showed respect, empathy and gratitude, because the €80m star needs a bit of support and guidance amidst the distracting background noise that’s been going on. James didn’t have a perfect game (including the missed penalty), but he grew with each minute that passed, overcame the impatience after some plays went against him, and finished the game as a major figure.

In Colombia...James smiles

The Argentina manager has the experience to foster James’ talents with his tactics and transform his frustrations into hunger for personal reprisal. In Colombia James smiles, that’s the big difference.