Isco wary of too much praise

Real Madrid star Isco has refused to be drawn into praise of his performances. “If you mess up five passes in a row here…”

Isco’s sensational 2017 has seen him earn a bumper, new contract with Madrid, considered for the Ballon d’Or and become a key player for Spain, but the midfielder made it clear he was keeping his head down.

“The Champions League is very special for Madrid,” he said at a Press conference for Tuesday’s clash between Los Blancos and Tottenham Hotspur.

“We want to consolidate ourselves as group leaders, but it’ll be against very difficult opponents, who have been doing things very well.

“We’re a team here. Sometimes things go better or worse, but the key is to find balance. I hope I can have this consistency for a long time. I’m happy with my situation.

“Ballon d’Or? I’m not thinking about it because it’s very difficult. I want to live for now, which is what we live as players. The future is never known.

“The podium? Cristiano [Ronaldo] has to win it. It’d be a dream to be on it, of course, but there’s also Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric…

“The work of the team is very important and they make it easy for me to be there. My secret? A bit of everything.

“Without working hard, I wouldn’t have had these chances. I’m also playing in my [favourite] position, closer to the box, and gaining more consistency, which is very good for confidence.

“Ronaldo scoring again? It was a matter of time, he’s devastating in the box. It’s true that he’d already scored in the Champions League, but it’s better that he’s also scored in the League because we need him a lot.

“Dressing-room atmosphere? It’s very good, the confidence of this team has no limits. We’ve missed having our whole squad available.

“Surely, from now on, you’re going to see a much better Madrid because we’re getting our players back.

“Malaga problems? They hurt me, given I’m still a malaguista, but there’s still time to turn things around, although they have to start picking up good results soon.

“Rotations? We’re 100 percent with Zidane for everything he gave us last season. Zizou can’t be questioned, although it’s normal that those who have done the best in training will play. It’s important to have the whole team plugged in.

“Advice to Asensio and Ceballos? They broke through at the same age as I did, but football’s very long and if they work hard, they’ll surely have their moment.

“Patience is needed with them because it’s a pleasure to have them with us for the quality they have.

“Compliments? I don’t watch the news or read newspapers, I stay away from any praise. One day you’re the best and the next you’re the worst.

“One day you’re God and then if you mess up five passes in a row, they want to kick you out of Madrid.

“My growth? I’ve matured as a player, I understand situations of the game better. I’m improving and learning from experience, and I have to always try improving.

“I feel very comfortable, I’m confident and I’m getting things done. I don’t know if it’s the best spell of my career, but hopefully there’ll be even better ones.”

Tags Ballon d'Or Isco Spain Tottenham Hotspur