Everton star James Rodríguez was part of Colombia’s squad for November’s international break, where he was unable to stop La Tricolor from suffering defeats against Uruguay and Ecuador in the World Cup qualifiers.

Colombia conceded nine goals and scored once in those two matches, and their only goal was netted by the Toffees attacking midfielder in the 6-1 defeat to Ecuador.

Carlos Queiroz took charge of the South American nation in February 2019 and Colombia’s last two defeats in November saw them sack the former Manchester United assistant manager.

For most of his time with Colombia, the Portuguese coach didn’t have the best version of James Rodríguez at his disposal because the player struggled for regular minutes at Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side signed the 29-year-old from the La Liga winners in the summer, and has been a regular for Everton, whenever he’s been fit enough to play.

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Queiroz has revealed James Rodríguez’s limited playing time at the club level has had an impact on the national team.

“I always like to talk about the team beyond personalities and individuals. As my friend Sir Alex Ferguson always said, the team above everything else. But unfortunately for me and for the Colombia, it has never been possible to count on James at 100 percent,” Queiroz told EFE, as quoted by W Radio.

“The situation with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich meant he has not had the regularity that a player like James needs, to produce his best football.”

“James at the 2014 World Cup was sensational, but it hasn’t been possible for him to contribute to the best of his ability. We try to work on good solutions.” 

“James has suffered a lot with the situation, the team too. Now that he was starting to play regularly for Everton, our paths diverge because football spoke cruelly to me.”