Isco hailed by Spain coach, teammate after picking up knock in friendly
Real Madrid star Isco had to leave Spain’s 5-0 friendly victory over Costa Rica with an injury on Saturday, but his teammate Alvaro Morata believes it is not serious.
The game was well in hand when Isco was involved in a collision and motioned for a substitute. He was replaced by Marco Asensio in the 65th minute.
But Morata said he thought it was only a minor setback, which is good news for Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane ahead of next weekend’s derby with Atletico Madrid.
“It was a little thing,” Morata said after the game. “Isco’s leg had a knock, so let’s hope he’s well as soon as possible.
“Isco is a real phenomenon. This is his home, his land and as long as he is happy, we are happy.”
Spain boss Julen Lopetegui also had kind words for Isco, and suggested he had picked up the injury before he got to international duty.
“He’s established himself among the world elite,” the coach said of Isco. “He’s consistently performed at the highest level and done so through his quality and mentality.
“Isco’s best is yet to come. He had to be taken off due to a knock from [Madrid’s] game at Girona. We’ll see how it goes.”
It was an impressive performance for Spain against a fellow World Cup-qualifying nation as Morata scored to go along with a David Silva brace and goals from Jordi Alba and Andres Iniesta.
And Morata said: “We are making our opponents look weaker than they are. We had a great match against Italy and you can see that when we play, it feels good.”
Lopetegui was also pleased with the result, and even said his side was capable of scoring more.
“I’m happy, but it’s not the best day of my reign here,” he said. “We’ve scored more in official games. What I’m most happy about is the attitude of the team, regardless of whether it’s an official game or not.
“We played football until the last kick, and that attitude is what can lead us to success. We had a good game.
“The team played a lot of football and had several clear-cut chances. It doesn’t matter who scores our goals.”
Lopetegui also admitted that Costa Rica probably would have given Spain a better test in a competitive match.
“An early goal changed the dynamic of the match and made it an uphill battle for our opponents,” he said. “Still, Costa Rica are a very good team and it would’ve been a very different match if it was played in the World Cup.
“5-0 wasn’t the real difference between the two teams. Now we can’t think beyond the next match. We must be ambitious and confident, but now’s not the time to think about the World Cup.”
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