Isco claims it was his fault if Ancelotti, Benitez and Zidane did not pick him to start for Real Madrid
Isco also spoke about returning to play for Spain under his former U21 coach Julen Lopetegui
Back in 2012, Isco was a young player lighting up Europe, so much so that he was awarded the Golden Boy award. Now, he is struggling to get minutes under his belt at Real Madrid and he claims it is all down to him rather than blaming managers for not playing him.
At Malaga, Isco had a phenomenal 2012/13 season where he scored 12 goals in all competitions. However, ever since his move to Real Madrid, he has only had one similar season – his debut season in 2013/14 when he scored 11 goals and played a career-high 53 games in the season in all competitions.
Over the past couple of seasons, the number of minutes he has played has come down. Now 24, he is still struggling to break into the starting lineup – a story that has been repeated under Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benitez and Zinedine Zidane. As a result, his goal and assist returns have also come down.
But Isco said he was not a fool to blame the manager. In an interview with Marca, he said it was all down to him to convince the manager to give him more starts.
“At the end with Carlo Ancelotti, I almost always played if not from the start but as the first change,” Isco said.
“From one season to another, that change was the most difficult but that's football. There are ups and downs and I don't give up, I fight to the end and want to prove that I'm fit for Madrid.
“It's complicated (not playing more often), but it's my fault,” he explained.
“In the end, if I'm not the star man with Ancelotti, Benitez or Zidane, I will not be foolish to look for problems where there are none. In the end, I'm responsible and that's where I must improve.”
Isco’s contract runs out in 2018 and there have been no updates on whether Los Blancos plan to extend his contract.
“The truth is that I have not yet thought about it,” he said. “Nor have they asked me to renew, so I am calm. I take it day by day, which is important.”
Happy that Julen Lopetegui trusts me to pick me for Spain: Isco
Isco was recently named in the Spain squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and it came as a surprise to many as he has hardly played this season while a number of other midfielders have been dropped, specifically from the Premier League. Players such as Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla and Cesc Fabregas were not picked.
“I am very happy to be here and for the opportunity that the coach has given me,” Isco said on his selection. “It shows he trusts me.”
“For me it means a lot, he (Lopetegui) knows (me) since the Under-21s.” Isco had played for the Spain U21 team when Lopetegui was in charge between 2012 and 2014. “That little motivates me more than playing for my country, I can contribute a lot and have a lot of confidence.”
Isco had failed to make the squad for Euro 2016 and he claimed he was not convinced he would be selected b Vicente Del Bosque would pick him.
“I wasn't convinced that I would go. [Del Bosque] had virtually called his entire squad and I was still off the list. Then it was confirmed to me on social media.”