South American coach advises Real Madrid on how to unlock exquisite playmaker’s potential

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James Rodriguez hasn’t truly hit the heights at Real Madrid since moving to the club in 2014, but the player’s former coach Julio Cesar Falcioni has advised the club on how to get the most out of the playmaker.

When James shone at the World Cup in Brazil—hitting a stonking volley against Uruguay which later earned him the Puskas award—it appeared as though the attacking midfielder was destined for the very top.

His goalscoring displays and creative influence for Colombia set him apart as one of the players of the competition, and he became the first player since 2002 to score in each of his side’s opening four matches.

However, he hasn’t always been considered a key man at Real, and has often struggled to assert himself amidst the club’s litany of offensive options.

To date this season, James has started just 14 league games, coming on as a substitute in a further six games, scoring six goals and six assists.

He shone in the victory over Eibar on Saturday and, speaking to Marca, the player’s former mentor Falcioni has advised Real on how to ensure they get the best out of the South American.

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“I think the white shirt carries a huge weight but I believe he has the talent and character to wear it, and he has a bright future ahead of him,” Falcioni began.

“He needs to feel important and wanted, all special talents need this encouragement so that they can unlock their potential.”

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