Solari wants to see intensity against minnows Melilla

Annette Crawford
December 6, 2018

Isco has answered his critics by netting twice on his first start under Santiago Solari as Real Madrid eased past minnows Melilla to advance to the last-16 of the Copa del Rey.

The two sides meet again at the Bernabeu Stadium on Thursday and Solari has since been appointed as Julen Lopetegui's permanent replacement.

The Argentine coach pointed out that there are 24 players on the first team, plus the players of the Castilla squad, stressing that they all "are working with intensity, enthusiasm and they're excited".

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"I think I already told you the other day".

Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda however has refused to rule out the possibility of a January exit for Isco, saying, "They [Real Madrid] consider that Isco is not involved in the group, that he is doing his thing, that he is having problems with his weight - so he is thinking of going to the Premier League", he said. Everything is debatable, what we have to do is give our best to be available and give our best when playing. The job of the coach is to try to pick well and avoid mistakes.

Thursday's game will be the first since Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d'Or, making him the first player to beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to it since Kaka in 2007.

Real have had one of their worst starts to a domestic season in recent years, as some embarrassing results have seen the giants stumble into fifth position in the league. He's had a wonderful year and he's given everything to Real Madrid and his national team.

"It comes in a period of maturity in his career, which makes it even nicer because he appreciates it's true value. We're all very happy with his prize".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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