Everton defender Yerry Mina has hailed teammate James Rodriguez, revealing the midfielder is far from the public persona he has been given.
Rodriguez linked up with compatriot Mina in the summer, swapping Real Madrid for Everton in one of the more high-profile transfers of the window.
He’s been a massive hit at the club since his arrival, with star performances on the pitch meaning he has already been deemed a massive success.
It is not just gains on the pitch with Rodriguez, though, who has also increased Everton’s profile off the pitch courtesy of his huge popularity in his native Colombia.
That has already seen the Blues tap into previously unexplored markets, as well as increase their presence in the USA, where Rodriguez is also a star.
Before his move that popularity was one of the main critiques of the player, who is very much presented as the modern-day, celebrity footballer with all the problems that entails.
Mina, though, has rallied against such a notion, insisting his Everton teammate is a far cry from the player seen in the football bubble.
“I knew him, but not as well as I do now. I know the person he is, and he is a great human being,” Marca report him saying.
“As a professional, he is top, and always wants to do things right.
“I used to talk to him about the bad times, and he would tell me ‘don’t worry, this is going to change. You are a good person, a winner’… And that is how it was.
“That’s why when one of us has a problem, we try to give it to the other one so that it doesn’t affect us.
“When we are on the pitch we talk about football, but outside we try to do something else.
“Our families, going to the gym, sauna. One thing is what people see of him from the outside, but it’s another on the inside.”