Former Real Madrid star Isco has said he regrets not leaving the Spanish capital sooner, as he did not get a fair chance to play toward the end of his tenure.
Isco left the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium as a free agent in July 2022. He joined Sevilla shortly after but saw his contract terminated after failing to live up to expectations. Almost a year later, Isco has returned to La Liga with Real Betis, with him now regularly popping up with outstanding performances under manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Isco Opens Up On Complicated Decision To Leave Real Madrid
In an interview with Spanish outlet Canal Sur, Isco talked about his Real Madrid exit, revealing why he could not leave them despite knowing that his time was up.
The 31-year-old said (via Managing Madrid):
“I had to leave Madrid [earlier] because I felt like I no longer needed to be there. But taking that step of leaving the best club in the world is complicated, and finding the right moment to take that step is even more difficult. These are decisions that one has to deal with forever.
“I was at Real Madrid for nine years, the last ones I was more apathetic due to circumstances that I will tell someday, but also five or six very good years, in which I played with the best in the world and won titles.”
Isco also opened up about his last few years at Madrid, during which he fell down the pecking order and rarely got the nod to start. He said that while he should have reacted better, he did not get a fair chance to win minutes.
He concluded by adding:
“I spent many years there, I was very satisfied and happy. Things happened with coaches, no matter what I did, I wouldn’t play. I lacked mental preparation, there were moments when instead of giving a little more, I fell apart. They made it clear to me that no matter what happened, I would not play much.”
Isco Is One Of The Most Decorated Players In Real Madrid History
Although he lost his place in the final stretch of his Real Madrid career, Isco’s legacy at the Bernabeu remains irrefutable. The former Spain international played 353 games for Madrid between 2013 and 2022, scoring 53 times and providing 57 assists. He won a total of 19 trophies as a Real Madrid player, including five UEFA Champions League trophies and three La Liga titles.
Isco played his best game under Zinedine Zidane, with the French tactician awarding him the freedom to influence play as a No. 10 at the top of his four-man midfield diamond. He played 184 games under Zizou, scoring 27 times and claiming 27 assists.