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Isco - The journey from obscurity to prominence

Thursday 21st September 2017
Francisco Roman Alarcon Suarez commonly addressed as Isco is having a swell time at the moment. Finding the net, providing assists, teasing his opponents for fun, controlling the game which takes his full attention when a ball is at his feet. He adds a distinct element of class and swagger to the game.

Bred in the Benalmadena region of Spain, Isco could be the successor to Spainish legend Andres Iniesta's and promises to be a delight. His rise has been fabulous and now he has recommitted his future to the club in a new contract which would keep him at the Bernabeu until 2022.

We take a brief look at his journey from Valencia to Real Madrid.

Valencia – Early beginnings (2009-11)

Isco's career kicked off at Valencia, where he mainly appeared for the youth team and the first team reserves. He made is La Liga debut on November 14th, 2010 as a substitute for Aritz Aduriz, against Getafe in a 2-0 home win. Subsequently, he was played in both the first team and the B-team that season.

Malaga – The beginning of greatness (2011-13)

Isco arrived in Malaga in July 2011. He started to display the traits which would prove that he was ready to take on the world. Here he bagged his first goal, against Racing Santander on 21st November 2011. Isco's first season at Malaga was exemplary, making 32 appearances and was a part of the squad that helped the club land a qualification to the Champions League for the first time in the club's history.

Isco found the back of the net against Zenit St. Petersburg in Malaga's first appearance in the Champions League the following season. He also found the net in a 3-2 home win against his eventual future club, Real Madrid. This was the first time Malaga had beaten Real Madrid in 29 years. Isco rose to prominence during his stint in Malaga and it came as no surprise when he was honored with the Golden Boy award in 2013, defeating the likes of El Shaarawy and Courtois.

Real Madrid – From being a substitute to the main man (2013-present)

Isco was Carlo Ancelotti's first business in the transfer market as Real Madrid manager, signing him from Malaga in a deal worth £23m. Isco debuted for the Los Blancos on 18th August 2013 and provided an assist and scored the winning goal in the closing minutes of a 2-1 win against Real Betis. However, Isco had to endure limited first-team opportunities in the first team due to the 4-3-3 formation employed by the team not being suited to his style and was regularly used as a substitute. He also played 61 minutes in the season's Champions League final, a 4-1 victory over city rivals, Atletico Madrid.

However, it is under Zinedine Zidane that Isco became acclaimed for his unrivaled prowess. The French tactician is a legend of the game who knows how to bring out the champion in his players and the squad has benefitted as a whole. With Zidane holding the reins, Isco has become an integral part of Real Madrid and a key starting lineup inclusion.

Isco has produced many mesmerizing and scintillating moments since then and is paving the way to become the world's best-attacking midfielder. He commenced the journey in the 2017 UEFA Champions League final which Real won 4-1 against Juventus and was the man of the match in the UEFA Super Cup triumph over Manchester United due to his outstanding display.

Isco's skill is magic, just like his teammates call him and it is a delight to watch him on the ball.
Adebayo Temitope

Temitope, an ardent soccer fan. I may be based in Lagos but I watch as much European football as I can. I've been writing about football for several years, before I joined IRIAW you may have seen my work on The Football Weeks. I'm also a keen music fan

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