Isco wasn’t playing before because he wasn’t playing like he is now

Last Saturday’s match at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu crowned Isco Alarcon as the Spanish footballer of the moment. His display was extraordinary and confirmed his powers. Nowadays Isco is the Andres Iniesta who made Spain so great in the past. The midfielder from Malaga showed off his full repertoire, linking up well, scoring goals, dominating everything, offering continuity to the play. The amount of action he is involved in is vast, as he works when it comes to pressuring, he runs to win the ball back and he makes football so beautiful, as he did with the unforgettable nutmeg of Marco Verratti .

Everybody is now talking about Isco, including me, as opportunism often dictates the storylines of sports journalism. So some might say that Isco was poorly treated by coaches who didn’t pick him in the past and who didn’t give him regular opportunities in their lineups, just like Zinedine Zidane not that long ago. History tells us that Isco was never undroppable for his Real Madrid coaches, from Carlo Ancelotti to Rafa Benitez, so I ask myself if these coaches were stupid to leave out a player like this, or if the truth is that Isco was not then the player that he is today.

Maybe it is this latter, rather than the former. Isco has always had this talent and this ability to leave you with your mouth wide open, but he has only now combined hard work with effectiveness. He now has consistency in his football, whereas before it was only seen on occasions, like drips of a potent perfume. He used to be overelaborate and think that a couple of nice moves would be enough. But Isco, who now plays in his natural position, has reacted and his made himself an important and more complete player, one who is vital. He hasn’t always played because he wasn’t playing like he is now.

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