Angel Di Maria is back in business for Real Madrid but the same can't be said for the almost forgotten young star, Isco.
WHEN he is on song, he is always difficult to stop. This is the story of Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria.
And the bad news for Real's opponents is that he IS on song, of late.
For instance, he starred in Real's 3-0 win over high-flyers and champions Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey first leg semi-final at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Di Maria was in his element as he messed around with the Atletico defence and in the process scored one of the goals and assisted another for rising star, Jese.
It was a superb show by the Argentina international as Real supporters gave him standing ovation when he was substituted late in the game.
The 25-year-old was naturally happy to be back on good terms with the Bernabeu crowd after a rocky few months.
Di Maria, or El Angelito, was accused of making a lewd gesture towards the fans when he was substituted last month, although he was cleared of any offence by the club.
"I am very happy for the ovation," said Di Maria. "I show the people that I'll give everything for this shirt and will do so until the end."
'The Angel of Death' is back in business. Good for Real.
While Di Maria is back in the limelight, there is one player who seems to be out of favour with manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Never mind the fact that this young attacking midfielder had a great start to the season via some impressive performances.
He is none other than 21-year-old Isco, who joined Real from Malaga last summer.
Isco during happier times with the Los Merengues
Isco is frustrated but he is not going to let this feeling stop him from fighting hard to see at least see some action as the season enters its crucial stages.
He has surely no regrets over his move to the Bernabeu.
"I'm very happy with the way things are going for me. It's true that I'm playing less, but I'm at Real Madrid to help out," he insisted.
"We hope to achieve big things this season. Every manager I've had in my career has told me that if I took care of myself and kept a level head, I would go a long way. It hasn't been easy getting this far."
Carry on fighting, Isco.
This is interesting news... Thai glamourous club Muangthong United star striker Teerasil Dangda has joined Almeria on loan.
The prolific 25-year old Thailand international will spend the rest of the season in Andalusia in a deal which includes the option of a permanent move in the summer.
Teerasil joined Manchester City briefly in 2008 before work permit problems uprooted the shift and had trials with Atletico last year.
Almeria’s official website describes the six-footer Dangda as a versatile attacker who likes to bring his teammates into the game.
"He can play as the main reference point up front, as a second striker, as an attacking midfielder and on either wing," said a statement.
"He has great quality on the ball, he is quick, skillful and has great vision, which as well as scoring allows him to make many assists for his teammates."
Well... Malaysian fans should have already known Teerasil qualities, though. The question now is when will a Malaysian ever get that chance to ply his trade in La Liga?
Mustapha 'El Loco' Kamaruddin is an experienced sports journalist who is crazy about football. He has been following football, both at local and international scenes for over two decades. He is also a columnist with The Malay Mail.