“Sign for Barcelona? Never!”
When Isco signed a new contract with Real Madrid last year, he admitted Barca had made contact over a possible switch to the Nou Camp.
He said all the right things after putting pen to paper, including a quotable eternal rejection of the Catalan club’s advances.
Just over a year later, the talented midfielder has become public enemy No1 at the Bernabeu.
Isco’s every touch was jeered and whistled on Wednesday night, after it became apparent Los Blancos were going to suffer a humiliating 3-0 defeat at home to CSKA Moscow.
Real Madrid fans are more likely than most to boo one of their own players.
Even Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest players ever, was subjected to harsh treatment from the Bernabeu faithful at times.
Still, Wednesday night’s uncomfortable atmosphere could hint at Isco’s imminent exit, particularly if there’s any truth to Goal‘s reports the Spain international has fallen out with Santiago Solari.
Is the 26-year-old about to learn why you should never say never?
A reverse Luis Figo is an improbable end to this saga.
Isco’s contract expires in 2022 which means Barca would have to persuade their fierce rivals to accept an offer — his release clause is set at an unrealistic €700million.
However, such a move would satisfy an underlying narrative.
For many, Isco is the natural heir to Andres Iniesta’s throne.
Comparisons between the two are long established and the Barcelona legend publicly stated he ‘would like to have Isco as a team-mate’ in March of 2017, prior to his transfer to Vissel Kobe.
Then there’s Isco’s previous anti-Real Madrid sentiments.
In 2009, when he was under contract at Valencia, he said: “I’ve always been a bit anti-madridista and I still am.
“I have the feeling it’s an arrogant club and without humility you don’t get anywhere.”
Sounds a bit ‘Mes que un Club’, doesn’t it?
Isco famously refused to kiss the Real Madrid badge during his presentation ceremony in 2013.
Customarily, new signings are photographed smooching the badge on their shirt to show delight at their ‘dream move’.
Isco later explained he wanted to ‘earn the right’ to kiss the badge, but many fans were naturally sceptical, especially considering the long-running rumours the midfielder is actually Barcelona fan.
Did you know Isco named one of his dogs after Lionel Messi? You can draw your own conclusions.
To recap, ‘the next Iniesta’, who has previously admitted his dislike for Real Madrid, is currently being booed by Real Madrid fans a year after Barcelona approached him.
You’re telling me there isn’t the faintest of chance of a reverse Figo?
If he’s going to get booed at the Bernabeu anyway he might as well be wearing red and blue.