Colombia coach Reinaldo Rueda on James Rodriguez future

James Rodriguez-Colombia
James Rodriguez-Colombia

The Everton star will only be reconsidered if he returns to his best, says Reinaldo Rueda.

Colombia national team manager Reinaldo Rueda says that James Rodriguez would only be recalled if he returns to his best.

The 30-year-old endured a fluctuating season at Everton last term, initially showing his quality before getting sidelined due to injuries.

He was also subject to exit speculations after his beloved manager Carlo Ancelotti left the Toffees for Real Madrid.

James also opened up his future at Goodison Park, stating that he was uncertain whether he would continue in the Premier League. There were also reports regarding a swap deal with Porto involving his compatriot Luis Diaz which would see James heading to the Portuguese club.

As it turned out, the Colombian ended up staying put at Merseyside although new boss Rafa Benitez appears not to be a big fan of him.

Colombia boss Rueda has now insisted that James needs to prove his worth in order to return to the national team set-up.

The Colombian gaffer said: It is not only the healing of an injury but also the readaptation of the competition.

“I think it’s very clear, we can’t hurt James, nor the national team, when we have seen him at his best, we want him, when he is 500% because 100% is not enough for the national team.

“We always tell the players that they must be at 500%, that is what is required to be in the Colombia national team.

“We want the players to take care of themselves in all possible variables. That 500% involves a number of factors and variables.”

It remains to be seen whether the former Real Madrid star can regain the playtime under Benitez this season.

James was previously disappointed after not being selected for Copa America 2021.