Isco has been caught complaining about his limited role at the club under Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.
Isco – who was an unused substitute in Saturday’s 3-1 Clasico victory over Barcelona – was picked up by Movistar TV cameras while talking to Luka Modric and Marcelo as they sat in the stands before the game.
“If [Zidane] has to take me off, he takes me off in the 50th or 60th minute, sometimes at half-time,” Isco said, which led to laughter from his teammates. “If he has to bring me on, he brings me on in the 80th minute.”
The Spanish midfielder has just started two games in La Liga this campaign.
Against Real Valladolid, Isco played 57 minutes before he was substituted, and he was taken off after 45 minutes against Cadiz after failing to impress the head coach.
The Spain international has also made two substitute appearances, coming on in the second half against Real Betis and also brought on in the 89th minute against Levante.
Zidane said he had “no doubts” about the player after his performance against Cadiz, saying it was “a bad day, we want to change things, and Isco first of all.”
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Real Madrid’s Clasico victory eased the pressure on Zidane after the club had suffered two shocking defeats in a row to Cadiz and also to Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League.
Zidane had insisted he felt the support of Madrid – and president Florentino Perez – and denied players like Isco had problems motivating themselves against inferior opposition.
“I’ve won a lot of things with these players… I’ll be with them to the death,” he said last week. “In those two games we lacked a lot of things, but not the attitude of my players. They are motivated to do things well.”