Real Madrid star Isco has revealed that “there was some contact with Barcelona” but insists he has extended his contract “with the best team in history”.
Isco’s new deal with Madrid takes him until 2022 and includes a 700m release clause, and the midfielder expressed his delight at being able to “fulfil the many dreams” he had at the Santiago Bernabeu
“Last season? It didn’t go bad… everything came out perfectly,” said the midfielder.
“I’m very happy and proud about continuing to represent the best team in the world.
“Eleven trophies in four years is a record I didn’t expect, we’ve won things and the team always want more.
“It’s true that I’ve grown up as a footballer, I’ve improved and I have more goals now because I play closer to the box. Zidane has been very important in that regard.
“I had the patience to wait when I didn’t have opportunities, I always wanted to succeed at Madrid.
“Leaving for Barca? Never. Like I always said, my idea was to succeed at Madrid, it’s true that I’ve had some bad times, but it makes you savour the good ones better. I don’t regret anything.
“There was some contact with Barca, but I never heard from them. My intention was to succeed here, with the team that counted on me.
“I want to consolidate myself as a starter and win many trophies, which is very likely with the team that we have.
“It’s true that we have a very competitive team, we’re all starters. With rotations last season, we were immeasurable.
“I don’t feel like starter, but it’s very important. It’s important to reach this level and, above all, to stay at Madrid. It stops you from relaxing.
“Throughout life, we think about many things, but ultimately it’s our decisions that lay out our paths.
“I could have signed a new contract last season, but I wanted to focus on the campaign and I was determined to sign it now.
“I’ve never given up, I’ve always worked to the maximum and I’ve shown it every time, this is Madrid, the most competitive club in the world.
“There are very good players here and you have to be there to seize the opportunity when it arises.
“The bad time, such as the beginning of last season with the ankle injury and not being able to start with the team, really annoyed me.
“The Press? You have two good games and you’re the best, you have a bad one and they already want Madrid to sell you. You have to look for personal balance and give your maximum.
“Zidane? He’s been very important for me, he’s given me a lot of confidence in difficult times and I’ve responded
“I’ve been successful because now I play in a more attacking role, where I always play now, closer to goal and give assists.
“He’s known me well for years and knows how to get the best out of me. From the first day he arrived, he told me he was counting on me and put his faith in me from the first moment.
“I’ve been patient and ultimately we’re a team, you have to wait for your moment and I’ve been waiting. The important thing is the team and if we win, even better.
“My intention is to be here for many years and hopefully I can renew my contract many more times.
“It’s hard to put it into words, this is the biggest club in history and everyone wants to play here. They’ve let me fulfil the many dreams I’ve had since I was little.”