By Boluwatife Ezekiel Olaleye
There was understandable concern when Isco stated that playing for Spain provided more confidence and continuity than playing for Real Madrid, but his performances for Los Blancos since then have dispelled any sense of unrest.
More questions than answers came tumbling out after the midfielder’s attempt to explain why he had scored a hat-trick for La Roja after a relatively quiet spell at Madrid; Why doesn’t he have continuity with his club? Who was making him lose confidence?
Whatever the reason, the following fortnight answered away those curiosities with a sterling showing away to Juventus and now a commanding display in Malaga.
Given three starts across the last four Champions League and LaLiga fixtures, Isco stepped up to play a leading role with his return to Andalusia demonstrating the versatility he possesses.
Typically, when Luka Modric isn’t playing, Real players look around for someone who can control the midfield. Likewise, when Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t playing, they look around for that man who will edge the ball over the line and on Sunday, Isco fulfilled both those roles.
Zinedine Zidane has shown vivid trust in the attacking midfielder since that hat-trick against Argentina and it is paying dividends, while also proving how the coach is wedded to no one player.
Take Karim Benzema, out off the side for the derby and quarter-final second leg, reduced to a substitute outing versus bottom club Malaga.
Zidane’s favour, by and large, stays only with those in form and Isco is one of Real Madrid’s, and Spain’s, best players right now.