2013 was a huge year for Isco. He’d just won Europe’s prestigious Golden Boy award, he made it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League with Malaga, he won his first cap for Spain and he eventually earned a huge move to Real Madrid.
After a few years floating in and out of the starting XI, the 21-cap playmaker has established himself as a key player for Los Blancos. But according to claims ESPN made in August, his career could have panned out very differently.
A scout allegedly instructed Manchester United not to swoop for Isco four years ago, on the proviso that he lacked pace and his head was too big for his body. That’s right, the classic warning sign every club should consider when eyeing one of European football’s brightest young talents – a disproportionate skull.
Fast forward to 2016/17 and the 25-year-old was crucial in Real Madrid’s march towards the Champions League title. And fast forward to Saturday night, and Isco produced an equally impressive display for Spain, netting his country’s opening two goals in a 3-0 demolition of Italy.
They were by no means the Spaniard’s only contributions either; he also completed the most dribbles of any player on the pitch, laid on one chance for a team-mate and most tellingly of his involvement, had the third-most touches of the ball of any Roja star.
Having reportedly signed a new contract with a staggering €700million release clause last month, United must be regretting passing on Isco back in 2013. And one only assume that scout’s now getting paid by the dole office.