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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Why won’t James play for more than a month? Reasons and consequences of his absence in Qatar

James Rodriguez He arrived in Qatar in September this year with the hope of once again becoming the most influential Colombian footballer, something that has happened in recent seasons since he landed in the ranks of Real Madrid in 2014. He left Everton after not being able to solve his problems with Rafael Benítez and landed in Al Rayyan in search of minutes. Everything seemed to be happiness; however, there is still uncertainty about what fate will bring.

The cucuteño’s first weeks in West Asian soccer boded well. Laurent Blanc, coach of the Arab club, only had good words for him, the team supported him and the fans were happy with his arrival. He made his debut in October, but, when it seemed that he would begin to resume his best level, a red card arrived that sentenced him completely.

In the match against Al Arabi, James saw two yellows that ended up putting an end to his dream of showing “his best version” in 2021. He received a hard foul, claimed the warning for his offender, they showed him the yellow and, after disrespecting the referee, he saw the red one.

Then came the call for the Colombian National Team. Rodríguez was used by Reinaldo Rueda in the game against Brazil (he entered in the second half) and started against Paraguay in Barranquilla. This last match was played. It was played on November 16. This Thursday will be a month since the steering wheel has no activity.

The big question everyone is asking is: why isn’t James playing Al Rayyan? Well, since that expulsion, the team has only played one game in the Qatar Stars League (0-2 against Al Gharafa). Then came the matches of the QSL Cup, a tournament in which the midfielder cannot be summoned because he is not registered.

In that duel against Al Gharafa, the exPorto fulfilled a suspension date and the second will be fulfilled on December 20, when his club visits Qatar SC for matchday 10 of the local tournament. After this, James will be able to be taken into account by Blanc again. He would return on the 26th of this month against Al Shamal.

This has gone from being a “short break” to a concern for the Colombian. He hoped he could get back in as many minutes as possible this year to regain the confidence he lost at Everton. He is aware that no matter how hard he trains, if he doesn’t play, he won’t be able to get back to his best rhythm.

For its part, the hiatus could also have consequences in the call of James to the Colombian National Team. Rueda pointed out that he would call it “as long as it is at a good level”; However, he could reach the friendly match against Honduras (January 16, 2022) with only three games ahead after his important football break.

Rodríguez will have to show on his return to the playing fields that all the problems he had were only a simple stumble. That his “fall” was nothing more than a small blow that will not stop his aspirations to become the soccer star that he once was.

James Rodríguez saw the red card in the match against AL Arabi for the Qatar Satars League. (Photo: Capture One Live Two)

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