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Real Madrid, Isco and Darwin’s theory of natural selection

Real Madrid must not let go of Isco.

Feature 19 May 2017, 13:48 IST
Isco Real Madrid
Isco looks to be back at his mercurial best at Real Madrid

There’s a theory about Real Madrid’s transfer policy that keeps cropping up every now and then. About how the upper echelons at Santiago Bernabéu decide their transfer targets. A theory whose genesis in world football can be traced back to the year 2000 – when a Spanish civil engineer named, Florentino Pérez, who in his second attempt, successfully took over as the President of the least ambivalent club in the world.

This theory often serves as ammunition to fans of the game who believe that money can’t buy success. A lot of people wrongly attribute this theory to Perez. In reality, it was English naturalist, Charles Darwin who is known to have established it, way back in 1859.

Charles Darwin came to a conclusion that, “If useful, is preserved. Individuals best adapted to their environments are more likely to survive”. Perez probably loved the theory and ran with it.

From day one, Madrid’s eccentric yet elusive president made sure he established this theory as the cornerstone of his transfer policy. Several talented players have had to bear the brunt of this – Steve McManaman, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Kaka.

The list runs long, you can Google it. Knock yourself out. All of them, unusual suspects. Not players you’d bet your money on to leave the club. The board let all these players depart when they were at their prime. Some of the departures have been incomprehensible.

Also read: 10 best footballers of the 2016/17 season - based on ratings; Cristiano Ronaldo misses out

Real Madrid still living and dying by the same sword

It’s 2017 and some things just don’t change. This theory still reverberates around the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, week in week out.  Let’s take a look at the performance of one particular unusual suspect at Real Madrid this season. As usual, ultimately, Perez will decide whether they’ve stood the test of time or not.

Over the course of the last two months, whenever Real Madrid have taken to the field, you’d witness one spectacle which has remained constant. The sight of a diminutive Spanish midfielder, attempting to wriggle his way out of multiple tackles in tight spaces – reminiscent of a man attempting to make himself some room on a packed Mumbai local.

This particular playmaker has been sublime form but it’s only over the last few months, has he had the opportunity to truly showcase his skills to the Bernabeu faithful. Here’s a necessary overload of statistics to help you paint a better picture.

Having made 29 appearances in La Liga this season, Isco has managed to find the back of the net 10 times (3rd top scorer for Real Madrid) and has assisted his teammates seven times over the course of his start-stop season. In total, he’s created 37 goal scoring chances for his teammates (passes that could potentially lead to goals).

With a pass accuracy of 90%, Isco who weighs 74 kg has made light work of his creative responsibilities. On April 15th, against Sporting Gijon, he let Madrid’s faithful, clubs interested in him and Perez know what he’s capable of.

A stupendous opening goal and a dramatic late winner served as fuel in Real Madrid’s pursuit for a double, who on multiple occasions have had to rely on the Spaniard to refill their tank. YouTube the words “Isco Disco”- the hype is real.

Real Madrid probably have the world’s best creative midfielder in their ranks. Rumours of him leaving for greener pastures have gained steam and died off, especially over the last two months. With Perez, desperate to sign a couple of Galacticos this summer, Isco initially seemed like an easy one to sacrifice. Not anymore.  Zidane ought to ensure, the management doesn't repeat the same mistakes they made with Di Maria and Ozil.

Isco arrived at Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 – the year when Mesut Ozil departed. He has passed Perez’ (Darwin’s) theory of natural selection with flying colours.  Letting go of another supremely imaginative football player is a fear that runs deep. Whether Los Blancos end up with two trophies or zero at the end of the season-  Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez is wanted by Europe’s finest and the Real Madrid president must realise this. 

Also read: Why losing to Real Madrid will see Malaga make more money than if they win

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