The breakdown of Solari and Isco's relationship
The Madrid coach has refused to budge on certain issues after feeling disrespected by the midfielder's attitude and behaviour.
The relationship between Santiago Solari and Isco Alarcón appears to have reached the point of no return this weekend. In Saturday's pre-match press conference, the Madrid coach, when asked about Isco's restricted opportunities, was adamant: "In order to play first you have to be in good shape and be competitive". Subsequently, Isco was left out of the Madrid squad and will not travel for Sunday evening's game against Valladolid, which is all the more damning given that Vinicius, Bale, Lucas Vázquez and Mariano are injured. Instead, Solari will call upon youth-team players Seoane and Cristo.
From the outset, Solari refused to budge on his position after feeling Isco's attitude did not show him enough respect, leaving the midfielder out of the Copa del Rey tie against Melilla. At the time Solari appeared to be rotating his squad to maintain fresh legs, but in the next game Isco only played 34 minutes, and later appeared on Instagram in fancy dress (for Halloween) while Madrid played in the cup.
In the two games that followed, Isco was given the cold shoulder: against Viktoria Plzen he started on the bench and featured for 17 minutes; against Celta he didn't even come on. After a number of substitute appearances, clearly to Isco's ire and humiliation, their relationship has gone from bad to worse. "When you don't have the same opportunities as your team-mates, things change," the midfielder wrote on Twitter on 7 February. His behaviour and reactions have culminated in the club taking disciplinary action against him, with the final straw his reaction to be being dropped for the Ajax game and refusing to take the bus with the rest of his team-mates and deliberately missing Solari's pre-match team-talk. He did apologise to the other players two days later, but those at the top of the club had already seen enough and decided to punish him internally.
In total, Isco has played 528 minutes under Solari but is now fully out of favour with Madrid's under-fire coach and will almost certainly not feature while he remains in charge.
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