Real Madrid midfielder Isco has been caught complaining about his limited role in the team under coach Zinedine Zidane.
Isco — who was an unused substitute in Saturday’s 3-1 Clasico win over Barcelona at Camp Nou — was picked up by Movistar TV cameras talking to Luka Modric and Marcelo as they sat in the stands before the match.
“If [Zidane] has to take me off, he takes me off in the 50th or 60th minute, sometimes at half-time,” Isco said, which led to laughter from his teammates. “If he has to bring me on, he brings me on in the 80th minute.”
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The Spain international has made just two starts in La Liga this season.
Against Real Valladolid he played 57 minutes before being taken off, and he was withdrawn after 45 minutes against Cadiz after failing to impress.
He has also made two substitute appearances, coming on at half-time against Real Betis and brought on in the 89th minute against Levante.
Zidane said he had “no doubts” about the 28-year-old after the Cadiz display, saying it was “a bad day, we want to change things, and Isco first of all.”
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Madrid’s Clasico win eased the pressure on the coach after the team had suffered two surprise defeats in a row to Cadiz and then Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.
Zidane had insisted he felt the support of the club — and president Florentino Perez — and denied senior players such as Isco had problems motivating themselves against so-called inferior opposition.
“I’ve won a lot of things with these players… I’ll be with them to the death,” he said last week.
“In those two games we lacked a lot of things, but not the attitude of my players. They are motivated to do things well.”