Real Madrid coach Zidane backs under-pressure James

Madrid, Jan 26 (IANS) Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez brushed aside rumours he is out of shape following his side’s 1-1 draw away to Real Betis in La Liga.

James has struggled to win back his place in the Madrid first team this season amid stories of a poor relationship with the former coach, the sacked Rafa Benitez, and that he is overweight, reports Xinhua.

His performance on the pitch and his appearance in a TV show recently appeared to confirm the stories of Benitez. But he was clearly irritated at accusations that he was not looking after himself as a professional footballer should.

“I am very upset at what people are saying and that so much is being said,” he said on Monday.

“People who are close to me know how I act. I owe a lot to this sport and I always try to look after myself…I am a good professional,” insisted James.

However, he admitted he was happy with the decision to sack Benitez and replace him with Zinedine Zidane.

“The change of coach has been good for the team. That is part of football and we all know that happens, that some come and some go.”

“It has been a good change, because some players have a better ‘feeling’ with one coach than with the other. Now Zidane is the one in charge and I have good relationship with him and we talk a lot,” confirmed the Colombian.

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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