‘We are all Real Madrid’ – Santiago Solari responds to Isco speculation

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Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari says he is not listening to speculation about Isco and why the midfielder has hardly featured since he took over as coach.

The 26-year-old did not start any of the Argentine’s first five fixtures in charge, playing just 78 minutes from the bench in those games, and was left out of the matchday squad for Tuesday night’s Champions League win away to AS Roma.

That has led to a series of rumours in the Spanish media as to why the midfielder has not been involved, ranging from an alleged lack of respect from the player to his coach, to weight issues, an over-relaxed approach to training, a supposedly inappropriate post on social media and more.

Solari said after the Roma game that the Spaniard’s absence was because of “specific decisions for specific moments”, but he was asked again about the situation on Friday.

“Sincerely, this is a topic that has no more to it,” he said. “The other day I said that they were specific decisions.”

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And asked if Isco had showed him a lack of respect, he said: “There’s no more to it. You will understand that I can’t be up to date with all the speculation. I have 24 professionals, we are here to decide. That’s it. I do what I consider is the best for each one.

“They are all important. We are all Real Madrid.”

For his part, Isco posted a photo on Instagram in which he can be seen smiling as he is lifts up team-mate Luka Modric in what looks like a goal celebration. Underneath, he wrote: “The power of a smile.”

Real Madrid face Isco’s former club Valencia in La Liga at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

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