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Isco: Why my dog is called Messi

15:37 BST 29/06/2013
The highly-rated youngster is set to complete his move to Real Madrid, but is seemingly a keen admirer of Barcelona and their players

New Real Madrid signing Isco might have some explaining to do at his new club as the Spain Under-21 international seems to be a keen admirer of the club's arch-rival Barcelona and Lionel Messi.

The attacking midfielder not only feels the Argentina international is in a league of his own, but he has even gone as far as to name his dog after the four-time Ballon d'Or winner.

"I named my dog 'Messi' because Messi is the best in the world, and so is my dog," explained Isco when questioned about his labrador's unique name earlier this summer.

The 21-year-old previously made headlines when an old interview surfaced from his time at Valencia where he described himself as an anti-Madridista due to the club's arrogant attitude.

Additionally, Isco took a swipe at then Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho on Twitter during the 2011 Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United, voicing his support for the Catalans in the process.

The youngster has also previously voiced his admiration for Barcelona duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta, while admitting that Blaugrana legend Ronaldinho is one of his inspirations.

Isco will sign a five-year deal with Real Madrid upon completion of his medical on July 3, before he's presented to the press at the Santiago Bernabeu.