With the Butarque score board reading 2-4 and with 20 minutes of normal time remaining in last night's league meeting between Real Madrid and Leganés, the fourth official, clutching his substitutions board made his way to edge of the technical area while all eyes expectantly looked on. It was Zidane's first substitution of the night. Then, the numbers flashed up on the board: a 10 - James off, 22 - Isco, on; Zidane had decided to take the Colombian off - just like he has in all of the seven games the midfielder has started this season.
James vents his anger at being substituted
The decision didn't go down well with James who, according to Deportes Cuatro, the player could be seen muttering under his breath. "Motherf*cker! You never give me a full game!", as cameras tracked him walking off the pitch. His annoyance was written all over his face and while he greeted Isco, he ignored Zidane as he made his way to the dug-out - striking the bench as he sat with the other subs. James' figures go a long way to explaining his frustration - last night in Butarque, Marco Asensio overtook him in terms of playing time - he is now the third player with the least minutes, just ahead of Mariano and Fábio Coentrão.
James Rodríguez has not completed a full game in the league
In LaLiga, James has only made eight appearances and on each occasion he has been taken off before full-time. In Leganés, despite a favourable score-line, he didn't complete the game which must have only added to his desperation for not playing a single minute against Athletic Club or Alavés. Last season wasn't much better - after Zidane took the reins of the team, he only featured in half of Madrid's games, completing the full 90 minutes just four times. Not that James is without admirers elsewhere, while Zidane is pondering where the the Colombian can fit in to the side on a more regular basis without upsetting the equilibrium he has found using combinations of very different midfielders, a number of top clubs around Europe are watching the situation with interest...
Update 12 May 2017: James has reached an initial agreement with Manchester United.
- Roque Mesa1007Passes
*Update 5 de abril de 2017