Isco could become the latest Real Madrid star to be ‘black listed’ by manager Zinedine Zidane, after the attacking midfielder was caught on camera complaining about his boss’ decision making.
Prior to Saturday’s Clasico win, 28-year-old Isco was filmed in conversation with several other players on the Real Madrid bench by Movistar+ cameras, which picked up the former Malaga star telling his teammates: “If he [Zidane] has to take me off, he takes me off in 50th or 60th minute of the game.
“Sometimes at half time. If he has to put me on, he puts me on at 80 minutes.”
Marcelo can be seen laughing at Isco’s candid remarks, while Luka Modric smiles.
In his press conference ahead of his side’s Champions League clash with Borussia Mönchengladbach, Zidane tried to play down the significance of the embarrassing comments.
“He [Isco] wants to play, like all players, and that is positive,” Zidane said (via AS). “Players always want to play and that does not depend on them. What they have to do is work to be ready.
“I have to make the decision on the starting XI and be able to make changes and that will not change.”
While publicly relaxed about the issue, AS claim that the comments have upset Zidane enough to ‘black list’ Isco – comparing his situation now to that of other exiled Madrid stars Dani Ceballos, James Rodriguez, Sergio Reguilon and Mariano Diaz.
While the latter on the list remains at Real Madrid, he has been afforded little time with the first team, despite scoring in last season’s Clasico.
Isco, who is in his eighth season at the Santiago Bernabeu and has a contract until 2022, has started just 26 times in La Liga over the last two seasons.
His current situation is a far cry from the 2016-2018 seasons, during which he played a pivotal role as Real Madrid won three Champions Leagues and one La Liga title under Zidane.
The Andalusian scored 20 times and registered 19 assists in all competitions across 2016/17 and 2017/18. However, he has seen his influence wane, registering just nine goals and three assists in the two seasons since.