Interview with Isco Alarcn in MARCA
ASK. Let’s go back a bit more. Isco’s top arrives between 2012 and 2018… Season at Mlaga, signing for Madrid, four Champions League, star of the national team… But he undergoes an appendicitis operation, Lopetegui is fired, Solari arrives and from there, We don’t see the best Isco. Is it the turning point in Isco’s career?
ANSWER. Do you know what’s up? You are in Madrid and you are at the maximum that a player can aspire to. You are in the biggest club in history, where you have also had bad times but in the end, you always managed to overcome… I always ended up playing forty-fifty games.
Q. You ended the BBC.
R. Exactly, that’s why I say it. That in the end he always overcame adversity and played. I was a starter in two Champions League finals, in the Cup finals, in Super Cups… Until 2018 I managed to be in all the important moments and as I told you, Madrid is the greatest team in history. And here, between quotes, comes the problem. Because leaving Madrid at the exact moment you have to is the most complicated thing in the world and it has happened to many players. And now I go back to 2018. I had emergency surgery for appendicitis. The doctors told me that the matter was complex, with more than a month of sick leave. But at twenty days I was already playing. There the doctors had warned me that they were going to pressure me to return early, that I was going to feel fine, but that I was not going to be, that I was going to suffer… But the team was going through a bad time With several defeats like Alavs, CSKA and I felt that I had to make an effort to help my team.
Q. And they fired Lopetegui and Solari arrived.
A. That is. And from there, Isco no longer existed for anyone. Not for the coach, not for the assistants, not for anyone. Nobody gave me explanations as to why he suddenly stopped having minutes and when I asked Solari directly he told me that nothing was wrong, but let the coach decide. I played, I remember, against Melilla and without saying a word, he left me several games in the stands like against Roma. Not even on the bench. He made me travel to leave me sitting watching the game in the stands. And I did not feel support from the club or from anyone. And now, seeing it with perspective, is when I see that I should have left. But leaving Madrid is very difficult. Because, as I was saying, I had always managed to reverse the situation. Other seasons, the club called me to tell me all the offers they had for me, or that they were going to sign players in my position and that it was going to be difficult for me to play, but I always replied that it had taken me a long time to get where I was and that I It didn’t matter, it competed with the one that was necessary. But this time it was different… I should have left.
Q. But what happened to Solari?
R. Honestly I still don’t know. After one of those games in which he had left me in the stands without giving me any explanation, I received a call from him in which he told me that I was training well and that he was going to start to trust me. He also told me one day that he was injured and didn’t make the list, but I thought things would change anyway. The next game he left me back in the stands so I really don’t know if he was laughing at me… Clearly I was wrong and should have walked away. But Zidane had arrived and with him he had performed well.
Q. Did you expect more from Zidane?
R. No. I think Zidane expected more from me, really.
Q. Did you lower your arms?
R. Zizou arrived in the final stretch of the season and I wasn’t well, really. It was a very hard year because of what I am telling you, I was totally demoralized. Also after the World Cup, my head and my body couldn’t. The following season I started without playing, but there was a click in my head and what happened in other years passed, when I began to play important games: PSG in the Champions League, Bara in the Camp Nou, Super Cup in Arabia, against City in the Champions League I scored a goal. .. I was coming back again. But then came the pandemic. And after the pandemic I stopped playing. Honestly, it was more of a demerit to me. And the following year I was not well and my good times at Madrid ended. I played two or three games with Carletto and that’s it, but he was honest with me and accepted it. I tried to train well and take advantage of the minutes he gave me.
Q. There was a time when you were among the best players in the world and you were considered a world star, a potential Ballon d’Or…
R. I have had good moments, really. The year of the World Cup in Russia and the previous season were great. But after the World Cup everything went wrong.
Q. Did you stop having fun in the field?
R. It shows a lot in me when I have fun and when I don’t. When Julen left, Solari arrived and I had no opportunities, I was apathetic. “Damn”, I thought, “I’ve had some great years and now I’m like this. What else do I have to do to be considered important in the club?”. Yes, they renewed me in the year of the World Cup because I had a year to go and I had earned it. And because he had many offers. There was fear that I would go to a rival team.
Q. Are you talking about the Bara?
RS I’m talking about Bara. My name was Bartomeu and with what Bartomeu was paying at that time… But I was very well at Madrid, with my teammates, with an incredible atmosphere in the dressing room… It was the team of my dreams, in which I had I won what I dreamed of… I wasn’t leaving Madrid for all the gold in the world. The city is also wonderful. Since I have enjoyed Madrid, I knew that I was not going to enjoy it anywhere else.
Q. And what has Isco done wrong on a day-to-day basis?
R. In the pandemic, since we had no forecast of returning, it was an uncertain time for everyone and I relaxed. I did not work at home as I should have trained. And when you let yourself go in football, especially now that it’s so physical, it shows. And I paid it. But from there I also tell you that I got my batteries back on and worked hard, but football also depends on coaches, on teammates who are better than you… And it’s your turn to assume.
Whoever signs me will find a hard-working Isco who is eager to play, to score goals, throw chaos and have fun.