Isco challenges himself to improve

In a bid to further cement his place in the team, Isco is pushing for the next level during pre-season with extra training and an ever greater focus.

On Tuesday, after the Real Madrid team bus departed the facilities at UCLA to return to the hotel, a car with tinted windows waited behind to pick up one final player.

That player was Isco, as the creative midfielder decided to spend extra time in the gym for extra weight training.

Cristiano Ronaldo has often set the bar high for his teammates, not only in terms of individual dominance on the pitch, but also in terms of fitness and physicality.

Which is why the 25-year-old, alongside other hopefuls, have followed suit to make sure they put in the time and effort in the gym as well as on the pitch.

Making a huge leap last season, the former Malaga man has made his presence in the team invaluable with his status and influence in the dressing room constantly improving.

Now it is up to Isco to continue to assert himself in the starting line-up, which will be harder than arriving into Zinedine Zidane’s XI in the first place.

Nonetheless, the Spain international has been one of the most determined faces amongst the squad training in Southern California, with his clear goal of improving his strength and endurance.

Isco’s journey to achieving consistent football at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu has not been easy, but the ex-Valencia man has already done enough to earn himself a contract renewal until 2022.

However, with the return of Gareth Bale, the growing prodigy Marco Asensio, and the experienced faces of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, the player will not be guaranteed anything in Zinedine Zidane’s side.

Whilst James Rodriguez’s departures opens up further space, Zidane’s policy of rotating individuals emphasises why Isco’s level cannot afford to subside.

A starting place in the Champions League final in Cardiff showcased how he has been transformed in recent times, but now Isco must continue to impress with one eye on the World Cup next summer.

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