Real Madrid midfielder Isco ways he hopes to remain at Santiago Bernabeu “for many years,” despite his contract entering its final year and no confirmation of contract extension yet being agreed.
The 25-year-old has established himself in the Real Madrid set-up and forcing his way into Zinedine Zidane’s plans, showing a string if impressive performances, and also underlined his quality with his brace in Spain’s 3-0 World Cup qualifier win over Italy last weekend.
That is in contrast to last autumn when the Spaniard said he could look to ply his trade elsewhere after being used well in big games early last season, and was even booed by his own team’s fans after a poor performance in a 2-2 draw with Eibar.
Recent months have seen the situation with a new twist, but despite reports dating back to April that a €6 million contract up to 2022 had been agreed, the Spaniard has yet to agree on a new deal.
Speaking while on international duty with Spain this week, Isco said he had always been confident of succeeding the Champions League holders and was sure of committing his long-term future with the club.
“I have always thought about being a success at Madrid, even in the moments when I was getting less playing time,” Isco said. “I knew I should not give in, and here I am today. I feel important at the moment and very comfortable, and hope to keep going like this for many years for both Madrid and Spain.”
Meanwhile, Isco teammates Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to training with Madrid following international with Portugal, with Ronaldo next outing likely to be the Champions League group opener at home to Apoel Nicosia next Wednesday due to his suspension in La Liga which runs until Real Betis visit the Santiago Bernabeu on September 20.
Also, an official statement from club after training on Tuesday suggested that centre-back Raphael Varane had not yet recovered from the troublesome adductor muscle problem which saw the Frenchman miss the 2-2 draw with Valencia before the current international break.
“The week of training continues at Real Madrid City,” the club statement read. “The big news was the return of Cristiano Ronaldo after playing two games with his national team. The Portuguese forward combined jogging with work inside the facilities.
“The players available to Zidane trained along with the Castilla team on field three. High intensity ball work was the focus of the session for the Whites. Varane and Marcos Llorente trained individually out on the pitch.”
Elsewhere, Madrid have been named 2017 European Club of the Year by the European Club Association for the second year running.
“Real Madrid has been named 2017 European Club of the Year by the ECA [European Club Association], an accolade which the Whites also received last season,” a club statement read.
“In the eighth edition of the awards presented by the organisation, the club was recognised for the team’s excellent 2016-17 campaign in which, amongst other honours, the club’s 12th European Cup was secured. On hand to pick up the accolade was Real Madrid’s third vice-president, Pedro Lopez Jimenez.”
Lopez Jimenez has also been named as first vice-chairman on the ECA’s executive board from 2017 to 2019.
Juventus’ Andrea Agnelli is chairman, with Ajax’s Edwin van der Sar as second vice-chairman. Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, Manchester United’s Ed Woodward, Arsenal’s Ivan Gazidis, Paris Saint Germain’s Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Bayern Munich’s Michael Gerlinger and Peter Lawwell of Celta Vigo are among the board members confirmed for the next two-year cycle.