Zinedine Zidane has a logical explanation for why Isco didn’t start vs. Getafe

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /

Isco has not started for Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid in La Liga since Nov. 9 when the team lost 4-1 to Valencia, and he’s only had three starts this season in the league with no starts in the Champions League. The Andalusian attacking midfielder did start against Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey, but the less said about that performance, the better.

On Tuesday night at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, Isco received some minutes off the bench against Getafe after being “snubbed” as a substitute against Levante the previous week. Over the most recent weekend, Isco was scratched from the squad due to a back injury before the match at Huesca.

Some fans were surprised that Isco did not start in midfield due to Toni Kroos’ suspension, though he was apparently healthy enough to play 14 minutes with the game already won, coming on for Marco Asensio.

Why didn’t he start?

Zinedine Zidane had a simple, logical explanation, via AS.com:

"“He has only trained once with the team. That’s why I gave him 15 minutes. That’s all.”"

That makes perfect sense.

Zinedine Zidane had to protect Isco from further harm

Isco was able to play around 15 minutes of the match to close the win out, because he needed to receive a tune-up and was healthy enough to withstand that limited action. But it would have been a risk to start Isco.

Real Madrid have suffered a lot of injuries lately, and adding Isco to the list due to an aggravation of his recent ailment would have been the result of a poor coaching decision. There are some things Zidane can be criticized for, but he’s always done well with managing injured players.

There will be some outlets and fans who use Isco’s situation to point fingers at Zidane or say that the manager did not start him due to a personal vendetta. The reality is that he was protecting an experienced player from further injury.

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We shall see if Isco gets more chances down the stretch and a few more league starts before the season ends. At this point, it seems like he is auditioning for a big role with another European club in 2021-2022.