The Colombian national team is beginning preparations for the three 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying fixtures.
Los Cafeteros find themselves in fifth place and fighting for a top-four spot with Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Chile. Five teams are vying for the last two automatic spots to the World Cup next year in Qatar.
With these three matches next month, it could make or break Colombia’s chances of playing in a third straight World Cup.
For this reason, former Colombian goalkeeper Óscar Córdaba reviewed the current situation of James Rodríguez, as the national team could use a player of his caliber to push them to qualify for the tournament next year.
“The national team will surely change their style of play, they will look for a different way of playing and getting results, and suddenly we are going to need another style of player since James has not been able to place himself at the height, and he has also collided with our coach,” Córdoba said to “Carrusel Deportivo” (via Marca Claro)
“The Colombia National Team is more important than anything else. Great players have passed, only that each one of them is important at the time, at his time. Just as the ‘Pibe’ was important at the time, Freddy Rincón, Umaña, Pedro Zape at the time, one understands that today James is important for the national team, but that does not mean that he is above.”
Over the summer, manager Reinaldo Rueda opted not to have the Everton midfielder on the Colombian squad for the Copa America. Despite the absence of Rodríguez, they were able to advance to the semi-finals and finish in third place.
However, these are higher risks with a World Cup birth on the line. It will be interesting to see whether Rodríguez will wear the Colombian colors during these sets of fixtures.