James Rodriguez has not been treated correctly by Real Madrid this season and the player misses the presence of Carlo Ancelotti, according to Carlos Valderrama.
Colombia's record cap-holder is baffled by the fall from grace of his country's current star man at Santiago Bernabeu.
After joining Madrid for EUR80 million in July 2014, James scored 17 goals in all competitions during his debut campaign.
However, he has been heavily criticised in 2015-16 for his form as well issues off the pitch and has only started 13 of his team's 30 La Liga games.
Valderrama, though, does not feel the player should be blamed for what has happened since Anlceotti's sacking at the end of last season.
"I do not understand the model [of Real Madrid] now," he told reporters at a farewell match for Alvaro Recoba.
"When Ancelotti was coaching, there was another model and James was a leading figure.
"I do not understand why last year he was good but he does not have the same value this year. The good footballers [should] always play.
"James has already demonstrated the great talent that he is after having played in different parts of the world. Real Madrid model this year has not been convenient to him."