A big part of the Colombian media still can’t believe that James Rodriguez isn’t playing in the Copa America for the national team. That became one more controversy which put all the spotlights on him, even though he’s currently enjoying his holidays.
Now to talk about the Everton star, outlet El Tiempo invited the midfielder’s first coach, Hugo Castaño. He gave the player his debut for Envigado, and now has a couple of things to say about these recent events.
Castaño started by agreeing with manager Reinaldo Rueda that Rodriguez wasn’t in the best shape to play the tournament, as the 29-year-old hadn’t even been featuring for the Toffees. He claims the player will soon understand why he wasn’t called up.
“We cannot ignore everything James has done or how many times have we had a top scorer in a World Cup. But I do not agree with the position,” said Castaño.
“Like Reinaldo Rueda, at the time when they asked me, I didn’t see James at the best level due to his injuries and lack of continuity in the game. The players are called at the moment and the moment was not ideal.
“It’s bitterness. Those things happen and later, when this mess happens in him, in his moments of rest, thinking about other things, he will come to his senses that it wasn’t the way. I reiterate, it’s respect for a coaching staff and a decision.”
The coach now expects Rodriguez and Rueda to rebuild their good relationship as soon as the Everton player recovers from his injuries and is able to play again.
“As long as he’s well prepared and can avoid injuries in football to endure a shock sport, James has all the condition and ability because football heals wounds. No hard feelings and more with Reinaldo because he’s a good man, so he’s not going to have that kind of thing and he’s going to call him for sure and we’re going to enjoy him for sure.
“I’d tell him and his family to remember those hard passages. And yes, when it’s time to start over, start over, lower his head a little, put his pride aside and put the rear-view mirror on a bit for difficult times and that they give him the chance to get ahead.”
With only 26 appearances for Everton this season, Rodriguez struggled with injuries, especially in the past few months. He was only able to play one match for the Toffees in May, and that’s the main reason why Rueda didn’t feel like he was ready for the Copa America.