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Isco, Real Betis ready to face Real Madrid

Real Betis v Aris Limassol FC: Group C - UEFA Europa League 2023/24 Photo by Jesus Ruiz/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Betis midfielder Isco will face his former club Real Madrid for the first time since his summer move to the Andalusian side. The 31-year-old, back in 2022, left the Santiago Bernabeu after nine seasons, in which he won five Champions League titles, three La Liga trophies, and one Copa del Rey.

Isco, who joined Real Betis this summer, has been a key player for Manuel Pellegrini’s team, scoring three goals and providing three assists in 20 appearances.

Real Betis are currently seventh in the La Liga table, with 25 points from 15 games, and have a very good record at home this season.

“Betis plays very good football and has players who can ‘unbalance’ the game,” Emilio Butragueño told Real Madrid TV before the game. “One of them is Isco.”

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, who worked with Isco in his first spell at the club, praised the midfielder’s talent and professionalism, but also warned his players to be wary of his threat. He said: “I’ve seen Isco, he’s back at his best level. I’m very happy to see it. I think he has brought a lot to football. He’s had a tough time but now he’s past that. Tomorrow, obviously, we have to control him because he’s doing very well.”

Of course, Isco is not the only familiar face Real Madrid will square off against today. Their head coach, Manuel Pellegrini, also used to manage ‘Los Blancos’.

“It’s the same motivation as we face all our rivals with, but of course, against Real Madrid, with greater obligations,” Pellegrini explained in his pre-game press conference. “But it is not special, neither for me nor for Isco. This game does not give us a higher degree of demand or of motivation. We are involved in the work with Betis, we have no problem with Real Madrid and we want to win it.”

The match between Real Betis and Real Madrid will kick off at 4:15pm CET at the Benito Villamarin Stadium. It promises to be an exciting and emotional encounter.


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