James needs to feel important, says former coach


James Rodriguez needs to feel important to reach his previous heights, according to one of his former coaches.

Julio Cesar Falcioni coached James in his youth and led him to his first senior trophy at Banfield, who won the club's first ever Argentine championship in 2009.

Falcioni believes the key to getting the best out of James, now at Real Madrid, is making him feel cherished.

"We gave him a position in the team with not that much responsibility so he could grow," he told Marca.

"We have a lot of affection for each other because of how I looked after him in those early moments, we gave him a lot of freedom to play and he was happy to express himself with the ball.

"I think the [Real Madrid] 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.

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

James scored the opener in Madrid's 4-0 win over Eibar on Saturday after just five minutes, but many feel the Colombian is yet to deliver on his potential.

But Falcioni said he felt James' versatility meant he could contribute to Madrid in any number of positions.

"James is a very smart player and his understanding of space and movement with the ball is superb, and he can play in many positions," he said.

"He has shown this in Porto and Monaco, and he will show it at Madrid.

"I am very proud of him. He has achieved so much by having scored in a World Cup by the age of 24 and having starred in a difficult league in Argentina at the age of 18. I can't wait to see what's next."