Everton defender Yerry Mina has waxed lyrical about Toffees teammate James Rodriguez, in conversation with Marca.
James joined Everton from Real Madrid in September, linking up once again with Carlo Ancelotti, a manager with whom he has a great working relationship.
The 29-year-old has been superb for the Blues, with 14 appearances, three goals and five assists under his belt in all competitions this season.
Everton were top of the Premier League table earlier this season and, after 17 games played, remain in contention for the title with James a key component of this superb form.
Mina has been with Everton since 2018, joining from Barcelona, and has described the relationship that has blossomed between himself and his fellow Colombia international.
“I knew him, but not as well as I do now. I know the person he is, and he is a great human being,” he told Marca. “As a professional, he is top, and always wants to do things right.
“I used to talk to him about the bad times, and he would tell me ‘don’t worry, this is going to change. You are a good person, a winner’… And that is how it was.
“That’s why when one of us has a problem, we try to give it to the other one so that it doesn’t affect us.
“When we are on the pitch we talk about football, but outside we try to do something else.
“Our families, going to the gym, sauna. One thing is what people see of him from the outside, but it’s another on the inside.”
James had endured several tough years and his stock had fallen somewhat – unjustly so, given he’s now looking back to his very best, much to the delight of the Everton contingent.
Ancelotti’s trust in the 29-year-old has proven a superb decision, one of many culminating in a superb run of results and a real chance of finishing in the Premier League’s top four.
And it’s great to hear from Mina how he’s a star off the pitch as well as on – signing him has arguably been one of Everton’s best decisions in recent times.