Marcelo's post CSKA comments expose isolated Isco
I have a suspicion that when Isco said “if they sack Lopetegui then they need to get rid of the rest of us”, this was the first nail in thew coffin for him as a Real Madrid player. It was, at the same time a noble gesture, coming to the defence of the under-fire Basque coach who gave the player a key role in the national team and also a leading role as protagonist in his brief time at the Bernabeu. The timing of the comment was too late as Florentino had already made his decision to cut ties with Lopetegui, and once the emperor makes his mind up....Not all the players would have been so outspoken in defending Lopetegui and I have no doubt that Isco's words over collective culpability would have not resonated well with certain other team-mates.
Marcelo is one of these players who would had issues with these declarations and has alluded to this on a few occasions. He made a comment claiming that Isco could work harder in training sessions but his comments following the CSKA defeat were even harder hitting after Isco declined to take the captain's armband. This rejection to wear such a symbolic in the game will have raised many eyebrows. We know that this incident happened as Marcelo revealed the situation after the match. If Marcelo fails to reveal this information then it's never in the public domain but the revelation from the Brazilian leaves Isco high and dry. Since the time he rejected the services of René Ramos (Sergio's brother) the player from Benalmadena has been cut adrift from the squad.
Playing with Real Madrid has it's complexities. It's playing at the pinnacle of the game and it can be cold up there. Being a professional football player means living on results which dictate circumstances, these circumstances include daily interaction with team-mates, trainers, club employees. Marcos Llorente and Dani Ceballos were two players who Zidane didn't feel fitted with his vision of the game and were barely used. Today, they're still part of the squad and securing increasingly more game time. Isco was a key player in the Real Madrid team under Lopetegui and now he's been frozen out and become public enemy No.1 for frustrated Real Madrid supporters. The midweek armband situation will have done little to help his plight. There is a nasty poison bubbling within the squad of players at Madrid and it's hard to believe at times that this is the group who won the last three Champions League titles.