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FOOTBALL

Isco's first manager talks about Solari stint and his best position

José Enrique García, Isco's first manager ad Atlético Benamiel, spoke to AS about the Real Madid player's best position and his spell under Solari.

Isco's first manager talks about Solari stint and his best position

José Enrique García was Isco's first ever manager at six years of age when he coached the current Real Madrid player at Atlético Benamiel. 

You've know Isco for more than 20 years, what happened for him to go from the bench to being one of the best on the team?

When I say Zidane put him in the number 10 role, I was excited and though that he was going to stand out. A lot of times, managers put him on the wing and he has done well there but there is evidence to say that where he makes the difference does magical things is in the number 10 position. It doesn't surprise me at all what is happening.

That is to say, he needs to have the ball...

Exactly! The best Isco plays with the ball. I remember when he was six and I said to him that if you lose a game but win possession, you have actually won, kicking the ball up the field is detrimental because at that age, it's all about learning. We knew that when Isco didn't touch the ball much, we knew that we had a big chance of losing.

Do you think he will go to the Euros?

I don't have a single doubt. He will be at the Euros and he will be important for Luis Enrique because he has his own set of qualities. In the more more complicated games, he has to feel comfortable on the ball to break the lines of defense with his touches and passes. He deserves to go to the Euros because with Solari, things went poorly.

What happened at this time? 

He lost his desire because he wasn't playing. When you give your all and you don't see a reward, it's difficult. He gives everything in what he does and he always wants to be the best. He did have some bad luck with injuries and in those moments, players need to be strong mentally. He understood it as a lesson within his profession and because of it, he returned strong.

Did you see him comfortable in his position?

No because he wasn't in his position. As I said before, he did well on the wing despite always being a number 10. With a tactical move, you can switch a player on when he doesn't seem at his best level.

Is it difficult to manage Isco?

I managed him when he was 17. There were three really good seasons with him and I learned a lot from him because he wasn't afraid of responsibility. We always won the league and it made me happy to see him with the ball. He hasn't lost that childlike joy.