Valderrama: Zidane doesn’t like Rodriguez

Real Madrid's Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez gestures during the Spanish league football match Real Betis Balompie vs Real Madrid CF at the Benito Villamarin stadium in Sevilla on January 24, 2016.The match ended in a draw 1-1. AFP PHOTO / CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP / CRISTINA QUICLER

Colombian legend Carlos Valderrama has aimed another rant at Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane over his usage of Colombian international James Rodriguez.

Rodriguez has featured as a bit part player in Zidane’s team despite his big profile and Valderrama feels Zidane has a personal issue with the striker, who joined the Madrid giants on the back of a great show at the 2014 World Cup.

The striker bagged the Golden Boot award after scoring six goals at the World Cup and weeks later made a €75 million move to the club from French side AS Monaco but after a fine first season, under Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti, he has struggled for game time in his second.

“Even if he scores three, four or five goals, Zidane won’t put him on [to play]. James is a player that he does not like. Ancelotti put him on and he played well, and then later with [Rafa] Benitez, but not with Zidane.

“So we do not understand what is happening with him.” Valderrama is quoted as saying on ESPN.

The 24-year-old striker accounted for 35 goals in 46 matches last season under Real boss Carlo Ancelotti, but has seen his number of opportunities decline under Zinedine Zidane.

He still has four years to go on his contract but his future remains uncertain after starting only one of Madrid’s last five games.