The Isco and James Saga

Isco and James celebrating Photo: Getty Images
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Are Isco and James vital for the future of Real Madrid?

Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez, commonly known as Isco, is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Real Madrid CF.

He began his career at Valencia, playing mainly in its reserve team, before joining Málaga in 2011. His performances at Malaga earned him the Golden Boy award in 2012 and a €30 million move to Real Madrid in June 2013.


James David Rodríguez Rubio, known as James Rodríguez, is a Colombian professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and captains the Colombia national team as an attacking midfielder or winger.He is commonly ranked as one of the best midfielders of his generation.He is praised for his technique, vision and playmaking skills, and often referred as the successor to his compatriot Carlos Valderrama. In a post-match interview during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, James stated his “love”, “admiration” and “passion” for Real Madrid, saying that it would be a “life’s dream” to play for them after his performances aroused rumors linking him to the Spanish club.


On 22 July 2014, James confirmed the rumours by signing a six-year contract with the Spanish club for an undisclosed fee, which was reported to be approximately €80 million which saw Angel Di Maria axed off to Manchester United.

Both the players are the cream of the crop of World Football. Still, they find their way to move into the first team very difficult. Let us find the reason(s).


When they were bought by the Los Blancos, Real Madrid had the majestic Carlo Ancelotti embracing their crown. Madrid used to play 4-2-3-1 back then where Isco or James could easily feature as an attacking midfielder. But when Rafa Benitez & after that the legend Zinedine Zidane took charge, they shifted to a classy 4-3-3 holding formation. As RM already did possess the service of Tony Kroos & Luka Modric, things got easier for ZZ. But what he did with Casemiro was a masterstroke. At 4-3-3, you have to have a proper DM who can win you balls & occasionally can spread the ball throughout the park and also two lethal yet artistic box to box tireless midfielders to feed balls to the front three which in case of RM are BBC.


So it’s real tough task for either of them to break into this midfield. So someone may argue about RM wasting these two valuable talents which can’t be ignored. But RM will make a huge mistake if they let either of them go. When a team plays around 50 games a season, you have to build a strong reserve bench as your first xi can’t play in all matches. James & Isco having just started their career should think whether they want to leave to play for other clubs for their immediate first xi promises or they want to fight for their spots here at Madrid. With Luka getting old, one of them are surely gonna get the available slot. But the question remains contant- Can they wait?

Things around them are also very much provocative as FC Barcelona are reportedly very much keen to get the signature of the 25-year-old Spanish starlet; Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal being the other big clubs observing the situation. Instability of James also alerted various clubs which saw Inter, West Ham & Chelsea bidding for the ex-Monaco man.

Did these provocations yield anything? We really can’t say ‘’NO’’ as both Isco & James protested at times due to the lack of game-time.


Having been offered a new contract, Isco told the management to delay the process as he is unsure about his future at Madrid. Again he also waved all the speculations away to join FC Barcelona as per Lionel Messi’s wish, reportedly.

James also did ignite the rumours of his departure during the end of 2016. But dramatically changed his views after winning CWC 2016 stating that he won’t leave, he wants to fight for his place.

Due to the rebel or maybe due to mere tactics, ZZ provided both of them significant game time later this season which could possibly make them happy to carry on for another year or so. But again everything is mere speculation, only they know what they are really going to do.