HomeFootballIsco’s sensational return to club football marked by cruel setback

Isco’s sensational return to club football marked by cruel setback


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Isco’s sensational return to club football at Real Betis has been marked by a cruel setback after the attacking midfielder fractured his left fibula during his side’s Thursday evening game against Las Palmas. 

The five times Champions League and three times La Liga winner, who prior to last summer had been without a club for over six months, had been on track to make the Spain squad for this summer’s European Championship in Germany despite not playing for the national team since a fixture against Sweden in 2019. 

In contrast to his latter time at Real Madrid and spell at the other side the Andalusian capital for Sevilla, where he struggled to gain a run in the team and develop any form of consistency, Isco has been in stellar form this season. The Spaniard has notched up 13 goal contributions in what has been his best goalscoring campaign since 2017, when he hit double figures for Real Madrid in their quadruple winning season under Zinedine Zidane.

In recognition of the star’s efforts, the now 32 year-old has won 19 Player of the Match Awards across 29 league matches for Betis, with the gifted midfielder also claiming April’s Player of the Month award after an outstanding month for his club as they picked up seven points out of nine during a run which saw them beat both Celta Vigo and Valencia before drawing to their fierce Andalusian neighbours in El Gran Derbi. 

Betis, who play in the 60,000 seater Estadio Benito Villamarín, are currently on track for a spot in the Europa Conference League, with the Sevilla based club sitting in seventh position, three points ahead of Valencia with just two games left to go of the campaign. 

Speaking last summer after one of Isco’s first performances in the shirt of Los Verdiblancos, manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “I have known him since he made his debut in Primera for Malaga. I knew from the first month that I spoke with him that I was sure we were going to find the Isco of the past and the player that we needed.”.

The former Manchester City coach added, “A lot of merit is owed to Isco, he wanted to come here  and he didn’t put any economic obstacles in the way of that.”

More recently, speaking ahead of Thursday’s eventual 2-2 draw against Las Palmas, Pellegrini had discussed whether the player should be on the plane for the European Championships, saying: “I don’t know if he’s been the best Spanish player but he’s having a remarkable season. He’s at a very high level, and his numbers and the physical moment he’s in show it. He’s been an important contributor and part of a stellar team in the leaguer.”

Disappointingly, however, for Los Beticos, national team manager, Luis de la Fuente, and no one more than Isco himself, his season has now been brought to a premature end with the player facing up to a lengthy spell on the sidelines over the summer. 

Isco’s focus will now on be recovering from his injury in time for next season after the player signed a contract extension in December 2023 that saw him commit his future to Betis until at least 2027, by which time the player will be 35 years of age. 

Nonetheless, with Isco having been in some of the best form of his career to date, one of La Liga’s most capable technical geniuses is seemingly ageing like fine wine as he enters the twilight years of his career. 

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