What did Isco do with Solari?

Isco booted out at Real Madrid: too few cojones for Santiago Solari

Real Madrid are the first in Group G to advance to the Champions League round of 16. After the defending champion's 2-0 away win at AS Roma, there is only one topic of conversation in Spain: the removal of midfield star Isco.

Francisco Roman Alarcon Suarez, better known as Isco, entered the Stadio Olimpico with a petrified expression. After talking to his teammates, he didn't feel like going to the dressing room.

"I'm fit, there is no physical problem," said the 26-year-old only to a crowd of journalists in passing. Nothing more could be seen or heard from him that evening.

He spent it alone in the stands. He, the seasoned Spanish international, perhaps the best technician in the royal ensemble, had to be content with the role of the spectator in the decisive game for victory in Champions League group G despite being in good physical shape.

Real beat Roma 2-0 even without him, but after the game they only talked about the removal of the Andalusian.

"These are specific decisions at certain moments," said Real's coach Santiago Solari, explaining Isco's failure to take into account, "decisions that are almost always sporting and only in exceptional cases for other reasons. There is no exceptional case here."

As vague as he phrased it, Solari's words left little room for interpretation: Isco's training assignment does not meet his expectations. "A player has to give everything, be at 100 percent, to see if the coach sets him up," said the Argentine trainer more clearly. Real's second captain Marcelo said: "I'm not saying Isco isn't working, but he has to see why he's not playing."

Isco fought against a sacking of Julen Lopetegui

A report from the radio station Cadena Cope According to Solari, he didn't even want to take the offensive player with him to the Italian capital. Ultimately, however, he decided against it in order to avoid even more trouble in the run-up to the encounter. Isco has been a controversial topic for the Spanish record champions practically since the promotion of Solaris from coach of the second team to coach of the professionals.

Solari did not start him in any of his six games, the right-footed player was only substituted three times. His meager yield: 78 out of 540 possible minutes of use.

"By renouncing Isco, Solari has set a blow to his authority. This is not just about football," speculates Real legend Jorge Valdano, former player, coach and general manager at the 13-time Champions League winner and now an expert at various TV and radio channels.

Isco, reports the daily El Pais, have been zero-minded since the arrival of Solaris. Apparently, this has less to do with Solari, but more to do with the dismissal of his predecessor Julen Lopetegui. Lopetegui was something like his foster father. Under him he once made the breakthrough in the Spanish U21 and later also in the senior national team. Lopetegui also counted on him at Real, Isco was almost always in Real's starting eleven until an appendix operation at the end of September.

No wonder then that he vehemently defended Lopetegui despite poor team results and even publicly asked those responsible to hold on to him. "If you fire Julen, you have to fire all of us," Isco said at a press conference just days before the 52-year-old was eliminated. Accordingly, he is said to have met Lopetegui's successor Solari, who took over after the 1: 5 disgrace in the Clasico against FC Barcelona at the end of October, coldly.

A no-go for the new trainer, who presented himself as a tough dog on the day he was introduced by demanding more "cojones", more eggs, from his highly paid stars.

Isco's farewell rumors: Manchester City interested

Spanish media are now even speculating that the rotten playmaker could run away next summer. Isco would be interesting for almost all European top clubs - certainly also for FC Bayern, if James Rodriguez's loan does not result in a permanent commitment.

The greatest chances of a transfer would have been loud Marca but Manchester City. Pep Guardiola has been after Isco for a long time and would like to guide him to the island as the successor to the now 32-year-old David Silva. However, Real Isco would not let Isco go without resistance. In his contract, which runs until 2022, an exit clause of 700 million euros is anchored.

In Madrid, they hope that things will smooth out again quickly. "If you say that you are not surprised, you are lying," said winger Lucas Vazquez about the demotion of his colleague and emphasized that Isco is "extremely important" to Real and will "definitely play again soon". Does Solari see it that way too?