The Real Madrid playmaker found himself the target of disgruntled fans, one of whom went as far as to threaten his life after dropping out of the Colombia squad.
James Rodriguez’s mother has made a formal police complaint over a violent death threat the player received on Twitter.
The Real Madrid playmaker’s decision to leave Colombia’s squad provoked an angry backlash on the social network, with the hashtag #JamesVerguenzaNacional (‘James a national embarrassment’ in Spanish) circulating.
And using the same tag, a Buenos Aires-based account published a harrowing message directed at the player.
“I am travelling to your home, I am armed, say goodbye to everything you love,” he told James, in a post accompanied by a photo of a pistol and bullets.
The tweet also contained a reference to the ‘legion holk’. It’s a group notorious for trolling public figures and promoting offensive hashtags, such as #mujergolpeadamujerfeliz, which translates as ‘a beaten woman is a happy woman’.
Although it’s easy to dismiss death threats on Twitter, Colombia has a dark history with violent reactions from angry fans.
Andres Escobar, 27, was shot five days after his country’s elimination from the 1994 World Cup as punishment for scoring the own goal that sealed their fate.