Isco playing for Real Madrid in 2013
|Full name||Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez|
|Date of birth||21 April 1992|
|Place of birth||Benalmádena, Spain|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|Current club||Real Madrid|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:46, 14 December 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez (born 21 April 1992), commonly known as Isco (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈisko]), is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Real Madrid mainly as an attacking midfielder. Isco has been described by Zinedine Zidane as "The most talented midfielder in his generation".
Isco was born in Benalmádena, Málaga, Andalusia. A product of Valencia CF's youth system he made his debut with the first team on 11 November 2010, against UD Logroñés for the season's Copa del Rey, scoring two goals in a 4–1 home win (7–1 on aggregate). Previously, he spent one full season with the reserves in Segunda División B, netting once in 25 games and suffering relegation.
In mid-July 2011, after helping Valencia's B-team return to the third level by scoring 15 goals, Isco signed a five-year contract with Málaga CF after the club activated his buy-out clause of €6 million. He scored his first goal for his new team on 21 November 2011, starting in a 3–1 away win against Racing de Santander; he netted again the following week in a 2–1 win against Villarreal CF, and finished his first season with 32 games and five goals as the side qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in its history.
On 18 September 2012, in Málaga's first game in the Champions League group stage, Isco netted twice in a 3–0 home win over FC Zenit Saint Petersburg, also being chosen as Man of the Match. On 22 December he scored the first goal in an eventual 3–2 win against Real Madrid at La Rosaleda, leading the locals to their first victory over that opponent in 29 years; in December he won the Golden Boy award, beating Stephan El Shaarawy and Thibaut Courtois.
On 28 January 2013, Isco ended speculation regarding his future by signing a new contract with Málaga – his new buyout clause was set at €35 million. He scored his eleventh goal of the campaign on 13 March, netting the opener in a 2–0 home win against F.C. Porto, good enough for last-eight qualification after the 0–1 loss in Portugal.
On 17 June 2013, Isco confirmed that he had received offers from Real Madrid and former Málaga manager Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City, but stated he would only make a final decision on his future after the UEFA European Under-21 Championship final. On 26 June, Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez confirmed that a deal had been reached with the player and that he would be presented by the club next week, once he passed his medical; the following day he signed a five-year contract, with Real Madrid paying €30 million for his services, thus becoming the first signing of newly appointed manager Carlo Ancelotti.
On 18 August 2013, Isco made his official debut for the Merengues, recording an assist and scoring the winning goal in a 2–1 home win over Real Betis, the latter coming through an 85th-minute header. He continued with his form by netting two goals against Athletic Bilbao on 1 September (3–1, also at the Santiago Bernabéu).
Isco appeared with Spain's U17 in 2009 FIFA World Cup, scoring three times in the process as Spain finished third. In 2011 he represented his country – together with Málaga team mate Recio – in the U-20 World Cup held in Colombia, netting one goal in an eventual quarter-final exit.
On 28 February 2012 Isco was called to the Spanish U23s for a friendly against Egypt, but did not leave the bench. On 15 May he was picked for the first time to the senior team for friendlies with Serbia and South Korea, but took no part in either match.
On 6 February 2013 Isco made his debut with the main squad, playing the last 30 minutes in a 3–1 win over Uruguay in Doha, Qatar. Also that year he appeared at the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in Israel, finishing as the competition's third leading scorer and making the team of the tournament as a key player for the eventual winners.
- As of 18 December 2013
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Total|
- Spain U21
- Spain U17
- La Liga Breakthrough Player: 2012
- Golden Boy Award: 2012
- UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship: Bronze Boot 2013, Team of the Tournament 2013
- Trofeo Bravo: 2013
Style of play
In 2013, Isco was credited as being "the most promising young player in Spanish football". He combined strength and skill, and his low centre of gravity made him agile and retain possession of the ball, characteristics he shared with Sergio Agüero. His vision and passing abilities are reminiscent of Zinedine Zidane.
- "Marco Fabian, Isco and the young stars who emerged at the 2012 Olympics". Goal.com. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- Valencia 4–1 Logrones CF; ESPN Soccernet, 11 November 2010
- Valencia get back to winning ways; ESPN Soccernet, 14 November 2010
- Isco firma cinco temporadas por el Málaga (Isco signs for five seasons with Málaga); Marca, 11 July 2011 (Spanish)
- Malaga up to fifth; ESPN Soccernet, 21 November 2011
- Malaga 2–1 Villarreal: Toulalan scores and is sent off as Manuel Pellegrini's men go fifth in La Liga; Goal.com, 28 November 2011
- Magical Málaga make it a debut to remember; UEFA.com, 18 September 2012
- "Malaga 3–2 Real Madrid: Casillas dropped as beleaguered Blancos succumb to Santa Cruz double". Goal.com. 22 December 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "Isco, ganador del prestigioso Golden Boy" [Isco, winner of prestigious Golden Boy award] (in Spanish). Málaga's official website. 22 December 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Ed Dove (28 March 2013). "Isco: Most Improved Players". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Isco ends speculation regarding future by penning new Malaga contract". Sky Sports. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Santa Cruz sends Málaga into last eight". UEFA.com. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "Málaga cruise into Champions League quarter-finals after Porto are sunk". The Guardian. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- "Isco reveals City and Madrid offers". Goal.com. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Transfer news: Real Madrid say they have won battle to sign Isco". Sky Sports. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "Isco, nuevo jugador del Real Madrid" [Isco, new player of Real Madrid] (in Spanish). Real Madrid's official website. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "Real Madrid give Carlo Ancelotti winning start after Isco's dream debut". The Guardian. 18 August 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- "Progresa adecuadamente" [Steady progress] (in Spanish). Marca. 1 September 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Convocatoria para el partido internacional olímpico España-Egipto (Spain-Egypt Olympic call-up); RFEF, 24 February 2012 (Spanish)
- Campeón hasta en los simulacros (Champion even in drills); Marca, 6 February 2013 (Spanish)
- "Morata wins Golden Boot in Spanish clean sweep". UEFA.com. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- "Thiago leads all-star squad dominated by Spain". UEFA.com. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- Pablo Polo (28 June 2013). "Zidane's class and Agüero's shimmy". Marca. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- Málaga official profile
- BDFutbol profile
- Futbolme profile (Spanish)
- Isco – FIFA competition record
- CiberChe biography (Spanish)
- Transfermarkt profile