Isco has taken a swipe at Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, claiming that he is being ostracised by the Frenchman.
The Spain midfielder has not featured for either of Los Blancos' last two outings, the 3-1 Clasico victory over Barcelona on Saturday and the stunning 3-2 Champions League loss to Shakhtar Donetsk three days earlier.
Indeed, the 28-year-old has played only sporadically this season, making four appearances after sustaining a sprained ankle in the summer.
It is a situation that the former Malaga man is not happy about.
“If he has to take me off, he takes me off in the 50th or 60th minute of the game. Sometimes even at half-time,” the player complained on Movistar+’s ‘El Partidazo’ program. “If he has to put me on, he’ll do it in the 80th minute.”
In his seven years with Real Madrid, Isco has always been in and out of the team, and has not played full back-to-back league matches for three years. In that time, he has played the full duration of only six fixtures in La Liga. There has been a suggestion that he has not put in the defensive work required for Zidane to select him.
“The win was a result of the defensive work of the group,” Sergio Ramos pointed out after the weekend’s win at Camp Nou. “We have run, we have suffered, and there is the result.
“It is the line that we must reach and maintain throughout the season. In the end, in football there are things that cannot be negotiated such as attitude and intensity, and the team has put in the maximum from the beginning to the end.”
Real Madrid are now second in La Liga on 13 points, training surprise pace setters Real Sociedad, although they do have a game in hand.
After their Clasico success, Real Madrid travel to Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday, seeking a victory that would get them back on track in the competition ahead of a double header with Antonio Conte’s Inter.
Their next Liga clash comes on Saturday, October 31, when they host minnows Huesca.