James Rodriguez couldn’t find a place in Zinedine Zidane’s match day squad, and the pair had a frosty embrace following the conclusion of the Champions League final.
Most of the talk before the Cardiff showpiece was whether it would be Isco or Gareth Bale who started the match but the Colombians absence sent social media into overdrive.
Rodriguez, who reportedly cost the Royal club £63m, has failed to nail down a spot, or even get a look, under Zidane’s regime sparking widespread speculation about his Real Madrid future. With Manchester United reportedly circling.
But his decision to completely drop him was never in question after the Frenchman guided Real to yet another Champions League title, including back-to-back trophies.
And following the 4-1 victory against Juventus, Zidane celebrated on the pitch by hugging his players. While embracing with Mariano, Rodriguez walked past them before Zidane got his attention eventually hugging awkwardly.
Manchester United’s supposed interest in James has seriously waned in recent weeks, so it will be intriguing to see who does move for the Colombian superstar.
Before the game, Rodriguez dominated the talk of social media. Here are a few reactions:
Bale on the bench, James not in the squad. Both to United confirmed? 👀 #CreateATransferRumour
— OldTraffordFaithful (@OTFaithful) June 3, 2017
— Aaron Potts (@Apotts7) June 3, 2017
James Rodriguez not even on the bench for Madrid in Champions League final tonight, so guess has already played last game for the club…
— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 3, 2017
When you can leave a player as good as James not just out of the team but out of the squad … wow
— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) June 3, 2017
Bale hasn't kicked a ball in 6 weeks or so… I'd go with Isco or James for this one… Isco based on form… James based on class…
— Kgalemo Moilwa (@Idiosyncratic07) June 3, 2017
Game hasnt even started and I'm already crying … for James
— Ahad (@ahadxoxo) June 3, 2017
Following the game, the 25-year-old took to Instagram to mark winning the Champions League. He posted a picture of him holding the trophy accompanied with the message, “God has control of everything. One more.”
After a difficult season where he hasn’t played much regular football, is Rodriguez’s Real Madrid days numbered?
Where will Rodriguez be next season?