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Isco relishing 'great challenge' of playing at Madrid

Recently arrived in the Spanish capital, Isco tells UEFA.com how he is enjoying life at Real Madrid CF and being inspired by Zinédine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Isco relishing 'great challenge' of playing at Madrid
Isco relishing 'great challenge' of playing at Madrid ©UEFA.com

Five months after his €30m move from Málaga CF, 21-year-old attacking midfielder Isco is bedding in nicely at Real Madrid CF.

Majestic for Málaga in last season's UEFA Champions League, Isco's reputation soared further still at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in June. His three goals – including one in the 4-2 final victory over Italy – helped ensure Spain's triumphant campaign in Israel. He subsequently made an explosive start in a Madrid shirt, scoring in the Merengues' Liga opener against Real Betis Balompié, yet remains enthralled by playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and under assistant coach Zinédine Zidane.

"It's great to play with the best player in the world [Ronaldo]," Isco said. "He helps me in every training session because he always wants to win, always wants to be the best. We all know about Zidane – he is a Real Madrid icon, and in every training session, even just by playing with us, he is already teaching us things. By scoring that goal when the club won their ninth European Cup [in 2002], with the class he's always shown, he has always been a player I have looked up to.

"I haven't been a professional footballer for very long, so I would say my biggest challenge has been to come to Real Madrid. I was part of a humble team like Málaga, and to go to the biggest club in the world, to Real Madrid, that is a really big challenge, a great challenge."

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