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Isco reveals Barcelona approach in 2018: “Wouldn’t leave Real Madrid for all the gold”

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Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

Isco Alcaron was one of the centre-pieces of Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid setup. He may not have been a regular starter for the Merengues, but his importance in the triple-UCL winning squad cannot be understated.

The Spanish international made 353 appearances for the men in white, scoring 53 goals and providing 57 assists in the process. He has won five UCL titles, four FIFA Club World Cups, three La Liga titles and a Copa del Rey amongst other titles with the club

The midfielder recently came out in an interview with MARCA talking about his final months at Real Madrid, the struggles he has faced after his departure and his current situation. He briefly touched upon his time under former manager Zinedine Zidane and accepted that he should have done better.

“Did I expect more from Zidane? No. Zidane expected more from me, to be honest.”

Isco’s importance in the team took a steep fall after the appointment of Santiago Solari in 2018. He opened up about the difficulties he faced under the Argentine tactician’s tenure and his ostracisation from the squad.

“When Solari came, Isco no longer existed for anyone. Not for the coach, not for the assistants, not for anyone.”

“Nobody gave me explanations as to why I suddenly stopped having minutes and when I asked Solari directly he told me that nothing was wrong, but that the coach decided.”

The former player proceeded to admit that he should have left the club at that very instant, yet admitted that the decision was not an easy one to execute.

“Other seasons, the club called me to tell me all the offers they had for me and that it was going to be difficult for me to play. I always replied that it had taken me a long time to get to where I was and that I would compete with whoever was needed. But this time it was different. I should have left.”

“I should have left Real Madrid before, but it’s the most difficult thing in the world.”

Isco also revealed that Barcelona had indeed made an offer to sign him in the summer of 2018. The Catalans’ proposal was economically tempting, but the player refused to leave Real Madrid despite the financial bait.

“Barca offer in 2018? Yes, Bartomeu called me & with the salary he was giving that time. But I was very well in Madrid, my teammates, and an incredible atmosphere. It was the team of my dreams, where I won everything. I wasn’t leaving Madrid for all the gold in the world.”

The past few years have not been easy for the 31-year-old and he is currently without a team since leaving Sevilla on a free transfer in August 2022. Yet, he looked back on his time with Los Blancos with pride and did not hold any hard feelings over his treatment.

“I started in two CL finals, Cup finals, Super Cups…until 2018 I managed to be in all the important moments of Real Madrid – the largest team in football history.”

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid midfielder set for a change in roles heading into the new season

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(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Federico Valverde, the dynamic midfielder for Real Madrid, is once again on the cusp of adapting to a new role under the guidance of coach Carlo Ancelotti, reports Mario Calderon for Mundo Deportivo

Valverde’s remarkable versatility has been a key asset for Real Madrid, allowing him to excel in various positions on the field. This adaptability has been crucial for the team, and it seems another transformation is on the horizon for the 25-year-old Uruguayan.

The team chances and so does Valverde

His potential shift in role comes amid changes within the team, notably the reassignment of the number ‘8’ shirt to Toni Kroos. 

The German midfielder’s responsibility for constructing the game will likely be shared among several players to ensure a seamless transition.

Here, Valverde’s ability to quickly grasp new concepts will be a significant advantage for both him and Ancelotti. Even during the current period, with many players still absent, Ancelotti is already strategizing on how to best integrate everyone into the team dynamics without compromising performance.

Federico Valverde might play a different role at Real Madrid next season. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Marcelo Bielsa must be credited

Valverde’s recent experiences with the Uruguayan national team in the Copa America under coach Marcelo Bielsa have further honed his skills. 

Bielsa entrusted Valverde with the captain’s armband and deployed him in a deeper role, where he was responsible for initiating plays from the back alongside his teammate, PSG’s young pivot, Manuel Ugarte. 

This experience has enriched Valverde’s understanding of the game, adding another layer to his already impressive skill set.

As the new season approaches, Valverde will need to re-establish himself in whatever role Ancelotti deems fit—be it as a winger, a pivot, or even a full-back, a position he has previously played under former coach Zinedine Zidane. 

Regardless of where he is positioned, Valverde’s importance to the team is undeniable. His versatility, coupled with his ability to adapt quickly, makes him a pivotal player for Real Madrid’s upcoming campaign.

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