James Rodriguez’s ‘difficult situation’ at Real Madrid is a concern for Colombia coach Carlos Queiroz ahead of this summer’s Copa America.
The talented playmaker has made just seven appearances for Madrid in La Liga this season following his return from a two-year loan at Bayern Munich, scoring once and providing one assist.
Reports have claimed that Rodriguez’s place in the Colombia team is under threat due to his lack of minutes in Madrid and Queiroz has acknowledged it has been a ‘strange season’ for the 28-year-old.
"All I can say is that we, at the FCF (Colombian Football Federation), take care to look after all of our players," Queiroz told EFE.
"James's situation is worrying for us. We know that he is in a difficult situation at this moment in time, it's a situation which technically and professionally isn't the best.
"But then there are other players who are playing even less. James's case is very strange, it's been a strange season for him but all of the coaching staff and I personally are doing what we can to help James, whose situation is a little more complicated.
"No one is disputing the quality James has, or [Atletico Madrid defender Santiago] Arias and [Atalanta forward Luis] Muriel, who are also both in a difficult situation. That's why I am doing everything possible so that the players are in the best possible condition. My obligation is to ensure that all of them are fit to play."
Rodriguez has played a vital role for Colombia over the past decade, finishing as top scorer at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where his nation reached the quarter-finals, and also helping the team to finish third at the 2016 Copa America.
This year's Copa America is being held jointly by Colombia and Argentina, with the final to be staged in Barranquilla, while the start of qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is also on the horizon.
Former Monaco attacker Rodriguez is likely to be key to Colombia's chances of success, if he can recapture his form, while coach Queiroz is looking forward to being co-hosts of the Copa America.
Queiroz added: "We love the pressure, it is the feeling which gives us motivation to perform better and be successful."