Isco handed Beckham's shirt

The Spain international was keen to lavish praise on his new club after previously criticising los Blancos in an interview four years ago
Isco has claimed Real Madrid represents the pinnacle of any professional player's career after completing his move to the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old attacking midfielder, who will wear the No.23 jersey, the same number David Beckham wore when he joined Madrid 10 years ago, says he chose the shirt because it was his brother's birthday.

Isco had infamously stated four years ago that he had little love for Madrid, whom he labelled as "arrogant", but at Wednesday's unveiling, he had nothing but praise for los Blancos.

"First of all, I want to thank the efforts of the president [Florentino Perez], my family, and love of all the fans," the former Malaga man told reporters.

"For a player there is nothing greater than being at Real Madrid; it is the ultimate. I hope to enjoy it a lot here, and delight everyone, winning many titles for Real Madrid.

"It is curious to be presented with the same number and on the same day that Beckham was. I had several shirts available, but I chose the '23 'because it is the day of my brother's birthday."

Perez, for his part, was keen to give Isco a warm welcome to the Bernabeu, admitting Madrid were delighted they had beaten off stiff competition from Manchester City for one of the most highly rated young players in Europe.

"Isco had offers from other clubs, but he has chosen to play for Real Madrid," the Blancos supremo said.

"Isco is joining a club that doesn't know the word impossible. This is your stadium and your home. Welcome to Real Madrid."

Isco came through the youth team ranks at Valencia before becoming a star during his two-year stay at Malaga.