Solari refuses to engage in Isco dance at media conference

Santiago Solari refused to talk about Isco ahead of Real Madrid’s LaLiga clash with Valencia on Saturday.

The out-of-favour midfielder’s future has become the subject of much discussion. Isco has not started a match since Solari took over as coach, last making the first XI for last month’s 5-1 loss to Barcelona, which turned out to be Julen Lopetegui’s last match in charge.

Asked again about Isco at a press conference, Solari said in remarks reported by Marca: “I consider that the subject is closed, and that I can’t be aware of your speculations.

“The squad is made up of 24 professionals and they all work. I do what I think is best for everyone, we are all important because we are all Real Madrid.”

Solari’s honeymoon ended with a 3-0 defeat by Eibar last weekend, although Real ensured victory in their Champions League group by beating Roma on Tuesday.

He insisted the noise around Real will not affect him or his team, saying: “I don’t read the sports press. My players are all professional and they work very well.

“We have some young guys but most of them are mature people and I don’t think those outside of the club will distract them.”

Riot police clash with River Plate fans during the troubled build-up to the Copa Libertadores match between River Plate and Boca Juniors, which was then postponed
Riot police clash with River Plate fans during the troubled build-up to the Copa Libertadores match between River Plate and Boca Juniors, which was then postponed (Sebastian Pani/AP)

The Argentinian, meanwhile, expressed his regret that the second leg of the Copa Libertadores is having to be played at the Bernabeu.

The match between Argentina’s two biggest teams, River Plate and Boca Juniors, was due to be played at River’s El Monumental stadium last Saturday but was called off after Boca’s bus was attacked by home fans, leaving several players needing medical treatment.

Solari, who was capped 11 times by Argentina, said: “It’s an honour for Real Madrid to have the final and I hope that a stadium with our history will help put a good end to this difficult final.

“I can’t stop mentioning the causes that bring this game here, that having to play an ocean away has broken many hearts. An example for the children, it’s a shame. For me this game has lost significance. It’s a pity to say but it is a reality.”

Valencia go into the match three points behind their opponents and on the back of two straight league wins but having been knocked out of the Champions League by Juventus in midweek.

Coach Marcelino Garcia Toral is taking confidence from Real’s erratic form, saying on valenciacf.com: “Real Madrid have weapons to beat any team, but the truth is they are being inconsistent in LaLiga.

“The leader of the championship has the least points total of the four most important leagues, which reflects the difficulty of winning each game. The intention is to win there.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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