Isco absent from Real Madrid squad for El Derbi

Real Madrid playmaker Isco has been left out of the squad to face Atletico Madrid amid a back problem and his criticism of Santiago Solari.

Isco has also struggled to find favour with Santiago Solari since he took over at Real Madrid.   -  Getty Images

Isco is not in Real Madrid's squad for Saturday's derby clash at Atletico Madrid. The Spain playmaker failed to complete Friday's training session due to a back complaint.

However, he has also struggled to find favour with Santiago Solari since the former Madrid midfielder replaced Julen Lopetegui at the helm and Isco appeared to criticise his head coach on Twitter this week.

Following some unflattering observations from ex-Madridista Ruben de la Red, Isco responded with a post claiming he did not "enjoy the same opportunities" as his team-mates.

Asked about Isco at his pre-match news conference for El Derbi, Solari suggested the 26-year-old could show greater application behind the scenes.

"A professional footballer has to do his work, which is to train 100 per cent to be ready to play," he said.

"The team is in good form, all the players are working well in each training session to make sure the team is the most important thing."

Solari's first-team squad is otherwise at full strength and there is once again no room in the 20-man party for former Manchester City youngster Brahim Diaz.

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos