Real Madrid: Isco's resurgence under Zidane
Isco Alarcón's performance in Real Madrid's win over Osasuna, a potential banana skin in the title race, caught the eye.
Isco and Spain
I can imagine Luis Enrique rubbing his hands together over Isco's display in Pamplona, as the Real Madrid player found passes in impossible-looking spaces in a way which seemed to stop time. Interwoven into those ultra-intricate, signature moves was a goal that got Madrid back into the game and, despite floating in and out more than he should have, when he did appear he lit up the stage. The paradox in all of this is that after so much time spent watching on from the bench or sidelines, the Spanish playmaker's understanding of the game has shifted, has become less aesthetic. Isco appears to have given up on his old ways and now understands that a good old sprint comes with just as many rewards as a nutmeg or a flick. Without absolute proof, talent sometime becomes ephemeral.
Isco is now much more committed, much more of a team player and, as with everything in life, the years have shown he needs to decipher and manage his game better. He will always have to be grateful to Zidane - where most saw problem, he not only saw a solution, but also recreated a footballer who had never really disappeared. Much more important than the beads of sweat on his brow is the glint in his eye in recent weeks. The Bernabéu has always held great affection for those who go tearing after that lost ball, but the player from Málaga still needs a few more exhibition displays to win back the Madrid faithful. For a tantalising talent like Isco, fighting with everyone was never going to be a good idea.
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