Marco Asensio and the danger of him missing World Cup 2018

The return of the bbC. The confidence that Zinedine Zidane has in Benzema, Bale and Cristiano is nothing new. He has already stated during his time in charge that they would play "because they are the best" and, in the plans ahead of the clash with PSG, there is no doubt that barring injury all three will start. It is clear that this will negatively impact the pitch time of Isco and Asensio, as well as Lucas Vázquez. Spanish national team manager Julen Lopetegui was asked about it and, while first giving due respect to the decisions of club coaches, said that the chances lessened for those Spaniards playing less of a key role from now until the end of the season...

Spain Head Coach Julen Lopetegui walks in front of the Spanish team during practice session before the match between France and Spain at the Stade de France on March 27, 2017 in Paris, France.

Hierarchy favours the boy from Málaga

Asensio and Isco; they are not comparable cases. Isco is a strategic player for Lopetegui, the best, along with Thiago, of those who won the 2013 European Under-21 championship in Israel and one of the keys to opening the big door of the World Cup in Russia. His colossal display in the nation's crucial match against Italy at the Santiago Bernabéu last September was definitive. In any case, the coach had already been calling him up for national duty before he had secured a regular berth for Real Madrid.

Isco showed his class for Spain against Italy.

Danger for the Mallorcan

In spite of his undisputed talent and his explosion onto the scene at the very highest level, his loss of prominence for his club could mean that he ends up missing out on the final list. There are many quality players in his position, performing well for their clubs, that have the capacity to unseat Asensio. Lopetegui, although thinking that the youngster still has plenty of room for improvement, believes in his ability, but not enough to guarantee him a place if Zidane doesn't give him regular football at Madrid. Iniesta, David Silva, Vitolo, Pedro, Thiago, Koke, Saul, Jonathan Viera are all fighting for four places. Not to mention some unexpected surprise, such as Samu Castillejo, who breaks out over the coming months.

Marco Asensio needs more playing time at Real Madrid to ensure his place on the plane to Russia.