The non-call to James Rodriguez of the Colombian National Team and the strong response statement from the player reveal an undeniable fracture between the now former captain and benchmark of the national team and the coach Reinaldo Rueda.
What happened? When James Rodríguez was expected to report to the concentration of the Colombian National Team in Barranquilla no later than this Friday, the Colombian Soccer Federation issued a surprise statement in which it announced the withdrawal of the squad of the player from the Everton English.
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“In recent days, the midfielder was subjected to medical examinations, which determined that he is not at the optimal level of competition, for which he will not be able to join the group called by Reinaldo Rueda for the aforementioned commitments and the South American championship (Copa America) “, says the FCF statement.
The injury was known
James Rodríguez suffered a calf injury, he said Carlo Ancelotti, his coach at Everton, so he could not finish the season of the Premier League. In the last month, James only spent 78 minutes in one of the five games his club played.
The inactivity due to James’ medical situation was a public and well-known issue. However, Rueda included him in his list of 26 players to face the next matches of the Qatar World Cup qualifier, against Peru, on June 2 in Lima, and Argentina, on June 8, scheduled in Barranquilla.
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In addition, that is the payroll that will be the base that the Copa América will play, from June 13.
Strong reaction from James: the fracture
James’ response, through a public communication, was very harsh:
“I come from a recovery that is in its final part. In which I have taken enough time to fully integrate myself (…) The pertinent times of this process suggest that I take precaution to participate on date 7 of the tie, but would allow me to fully integrate on date 8 and of course be for the America’s Cup 2021“he added.
(Also: Reinaldo Rueda has already called up James’ replacement for the National Team)
And he concluded: “With surprise I receive the statement from the coaching staff, stating that they do not count on me and wishing me a full recovery. Recovery that I have already made and in which I have sacrificed a lot,” said James.
Did they check James?
As the hours passed, the versions of James’s departure exploded on the networks and on the web pages. Unofficially, it emerged that once he received the concept from Everton’s medical staff, Rueda contacted James and asked how he was feeling. The player’s response was that he still had discomfort from the injury he suffered in England, but that he could be available to face Argentina.
According to the same version, the doctor of the Colombian National Team, Gustavo Pineda, traveled to Medellín to evaluate James. The diagnosis confirmed that the ’10’ was not in conditions to play neither the two games of the tie nor the Copa América. That decision caused the annoyance of James, who insisted that he could be. Then the FCF statement and the player’s response appeared.
James’ ‘Rabbit’? Did you choose a party?
Unofficially it is ensured that the medical and technical staff of the National Team understood that James Rodríguez was choosing the match that he would play in the tie and that he was discarding himself from the clash against Peru in Lima, the immediate one, and he was qualifying himself to face Argentina.
Thus, Rueda, in a demonstration of his leadership, command and control of the group, decided to remove him from both games and incidentally from the America Cup.
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Other versions, also unofficial, indicate that the medical team of the National Team received the report of the injury sent by the Everton and considered, after his evaluations, that James Rodríguez could not be in either of the two eliminatory games.
But also according to press reports, the coaching staff was very upset by James’ delay to join the concentration in Barranquilla, despite the fact that he had traveled in advance from England (he was not in the last game of Everton, which lost 5-0 with Manchester City). They waited for him on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Why did they call him?
However, if this were the case, it is not understood then that James would have been included in the official call, published only on May 18 before.
In addition, Ancelotti assured that James Rodríguez did not play with Everton because he was focused on his recovery to be able to play with the Colombian National Team the tie and the America Cup.
The fracture between James and Rueda has already been evident.
This is the second problem that Rueda has in less than a week with the initial call he made.
The FCF reported that due to problems related to sanitary measures in China due to the pandemic of covid-19, removed from the list Juan Fernando Quintero, that militates in Shenzhen of that country.
“The coaching staff of the Colombian Men’s Senior National Team reports that the player Juan Fernando Quintero has been called off for reasons of force majeure. The midfielder will not be able to join the group called up by the technical director, Reinaldo Rueda, due to strict protocols and rules established by China, the country in which he currently plays, to be able to leave and return after being in our country, which may affect his sporting continuity at the club and the fulfillment of his work obligations, “explained the Football Federation.
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Quintero was summoned knowing the rigorous sanitary measures in China. Unofficially, it was assured that they expected to carry out “diplomatic steps” that would allow Quintero’s presence in Barranquilla and then in the Copa América, but that these did not take effect.
On Thursday, May 27, a day before it was known that James would not be summoned, it was known that it was known that Edwin Cardona, Boca Juniors player of Argentina, would be called to take the place of Quintero.
The officialization of that inclusion, on Friday, led to a new discussion: Why would Cardona arrive only on Tuesday of the following week and not on Monday, as dictated by the mandatory dates for the loan of players by the Fifa?
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It was learned that the request of his home club was granted to allow him to play next Monday the semifinal of the Argentine championship against Racing.
Versions in Barranquilla indicate that, in addition, Andrés ‘Rifle’ Andrade would be called to the Selection in the place left by James.