It all started at La Roselda arena where Malaga fans were treated to intelligently silk and mesmerizing dribbles of a 19-year old.
Isco had just broken out of Valencia’s youth team, got scooped by Malaga and wasted no time in showing the world the kind of stuff he was made of.
After the successful second seasonwith theAlbicelestes, big teams came calling but he chose to remain with Malaga who was at that time putting together an exciting team headed by Manuel Pellegrini and were about the same time undergoing a management take over from billionaire Al Thani who made it clear he was ready to spend. The Chilean-led side will go on to have a successful campaign and even qualify for Europe.
Real Madrid came calling afterwards in a move that saw the insatiable Galaticosscoop the league’s best two breakout stars in the mould of Isco and then heralded heir to Xabi Alonso – Asier Illarramendi.
Given Madrid’s reputation, the new inputs had trouble slotting into the top 11 as a back and forth progression, coupled with the almost annual change of coaches, threw the youngsters to obscurity with Isco making more bench cameos than actually starting while Illarramendi’s case was even worse.
Casemiro’s signing from Porto and the Brazilian’s subsequent easy slot into the first eleven pushedIllarramendi out of Santiago Bernabeu. Isco though remained thanks to the fact that despite the bits of chances thrown at him from one campaign to another, the 25-year old never failed to remind his coaches what he was capable of.
With high profile injuries disrupting the first team, Isco was once more summoned to fill in and this time he did more than that, scoring crucial goals and putting in much more defensive work.
His performance this season re-enforced his importance and now seems to confer on him the ‘indispensable’ tag. He earned it.