• Real Madrid's recent win has propelled them ahead of Barcelona in the La Liga team standings
  • Zinedine Zidane fielded James Rodriguez on the pitch after 265 days 
  • Rodriguez was a former World Cup top scorer

The games are back and Real Madrid is picking up momentum with another impressive showing in La Liga care of a 2-1 win over Real Sociedad. Their third-straight victory was enough for Los Blancos to overtake Barcelona in the season standings.

While the whole team stepped up together as a squad, one surprising move Zinedine Zidane made was fielding Colombian star James Rodriguez on the pitch. It’s important to note that while Rodriguez is a phenomenal player, he hasn’t been in the best terms with the club. For a long 265 days, this is Rodriguez’s first time to enter the starting eleven for Zidane.

This lineup change may come as a contingency plan for Real Madrid as their midfielder Isco was sidelined due to a hamstring injury. Per The Real Champs, Rodriguez was one of the players who stepped up and made the most out of his minutes. With impressive movement on the field coupled with his defensive effort, the former World Cup top scorer made his presence felt in the crucial victory. While his stats did not dominate the game, his impact was felt with five successful tackles.

The 28-year-old has had his share of success throughout his career and knows what it takes to succeed. The two-time Champions League winner can be utilized despite having only limited La Liga games this season. In his entire stay with Real Madrid, Rodriguez has had 125 appearances, 37 goals and 42 assists, showing that he is still an exceptional player.

It’s a crucial stretch for Los Blancos as they want to maintain their lead over Barcelona. This weekend saw Real Madrid tally a record of 19 wins, eight draws and three losses good enough to propel them for the number one seed. They are tied with Barcelona with 65 points who currently stand at the number two slot with a record of 20 wins, five draws and five losses.

It will be vital to see how Real Madrid moves forward with their lineup. Expectations are high for the organization and it’ll be important to note if former stars like Rodriguez will be given more opportunities like these in the coming games.

James Rodríguez
James Rodríguez's career at Real Madrid has fallen on hard times and he could yet leave the Bernabeu before the close of the transfer window. Reuters