Former Colombia international Faustino Asprilla has told ESPN Deportes that Cristiano Ronaldo is a bad influence on James Rodriguez, inspiring “ugly gestures” that show a lack of respect to teammates.
Ronaldo and James have played together at Real Madrid since summer 2014, and Asprilla told ESPN Deportes he believed their friendship is “damaging” James.
Speaking after Colombia’s 3-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Argentina, he said: “James is my friend and I love him a lot.
“But I can see that his friendship with Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid is damaging him.
“He now has the same gestures as Ronaldo when he doesn’t get the ball. Ronaldo makes gestures at everyone when he doesn’t get the ball, and James is doing the same with Colombia.”
Asprilla picked out one moment when James threw his arms up in frustration after not receiving a pass from teammate Eder Balanta.
“Near the start of the game he gave out to Balanta because he didn’t pass him the ball,” Asprilla said.
“James needs to improve with his teammates because he is playing in a team with many youngsters, and nobody stands up to him.
“In another team, he would get a slap. In my team nobody would have stood for it.”
He added: “Everyone can have disagreements with their teammates, but to make such gestures when they do not pass you ball is the ugliest thing a player can do.
“It is what Cristiano Ronaldo does every week.”
A half-time incident in which James confronted the match officials in the tunnel to complain about decisions was less important, Asprilla said.
He added: “What happened in the tunnel was normal, as he [the referee] had annoyed everyone.
“[Radamel] Falcao and [David] Ospina were also arguing with him. And to have run-ins with rival players, that is normal too.”
Culled from ESPNFC