Isco recently destroyed Italy in a World Cup qualifier with two goals and one memorable, ruthless, and disrespectful sole-roll nutmeg on Marco Verratti, one of the best midfielders in the world. Isco’s two goals were against Gigi Buffon, perhaps the best goalkeeper of all time. One was a free kick with his right foot and one was a left-footed goal to the far post from the run of play that he created out of nothing.
After the loss to Italy and speaking to AS, Italy’s coach Gian Piero Ventura had this to say about Isco, “All I can think about is that nutmeg he pulled off in midfield – and the coolness and integrity you need to do something like that. When I saw it, all I could do was applaud – he’s a rival, he’s on the opposing team but I am just as much a lover of the beautiful things in this game as anyone.”
In the last year or so Isco has gone from an underappreciated star to a superstar playing for the best club team in the world. But, there wasn’t always room for Isco in Real Madrid’s starting lineup, but now Isco has become a player that Zidane cannot leave on the bench at Real Madrid. Rob Train’s article for ESPN FC linked to above was particularly entertaining and educational in detailing Isco’s rise.
The Spanish attacking midfielder used to be somewhat one-footed, favoring his right foot, but now he really uses left foot and scores with it.
His directness makes him deadly, and he quickly advances play with his dribbling or incisive passing. He also has a rocket of a shot, but his placement and mastery of ballstriking techniques is world class as well.
As good as Spain are and as many great players as they have, Isco is the best Spanish player unless Andrés Iniesta is feeling truly inspired, and like Iniesta Isco has a combination of world-class passing and dribbling ability that give him few equals.
Isco is now starting as the playmaker or Number 10 for both Spain and Real Madrid, and that shows you just how great he is.