Tino Asprilla has made a bizarre accusation against Rafa Benitez.
Fair to say that just like his playing days at Newcastle United and elsewhere, the colourful Columbian character likes to be in the headlines.
On this occasion, Tino has accused the now Newcastle boss of discriminating against his countrymen.
Asprilla says that he can point to a number of instances where he alleges that Rafa has unfairly left out Columbian players in favour of others.
James Rodriguez needs to perform at his best, according to former Colombia international Faustino Asprilla.
Tino’s main piece of evidence is Rafa Benitez’ treatment of James Rodriguez at Real Madrid.
Bought from Monaco of 80m euros, James Rodriguez scored 17 goals and made 18 others, but when Rafa Benitez took over at the start of this season, the Columbian star was hampered by injury.
However, even when he returned to fitness Rafa often left him on the bench and James Rodriguez only started seven La Liga games under the now Newcastle boss.
To back up his claims, Tino Asprilla alleges that Rafa Benitez did the same thing when at Napoli with Columbian stars Duvan Zapata and Camilo Zuniga.
Quite why Tino thinks Rafa would have anything specifically against Columbian football players is anybody’s guess.
Still, at least we can rest easy knowing that in the ranks of Newcastle’s star-studded squad there aren’t any Columbians at risk of being unfairly sidelined…
Tino Asprilla speaking to Marca:
“At Real Madrid they are not giving him (James Rodriguez) the importance he needs. He is a young guy, with a lot of talent, but James has not been given the love he needs by his club.
“When Carlo Ancelotti was there, the player showed his true value but his season he has not been able to show anything because they have not given him that same special treatment.”
“I honestly think Rafa Benitez has something against Colombians because it is the only way to explain his actions towards my compatriots.
“James (Rodriguez) was coming off an exceptional season in his first year at the club, this man comes in and sends him to the bench.
“Although I don’t think this is because of a football decision, because when he was at Napoli he also totally marginalised the Colombians, Camilo Zuniga and Duvan Zapata.”