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Valencia icon Claramunt exclusive: How Real Madrid can get Isco back to peak form

With Isco at full fitness, Real Madrid have one of the best footballers in the world.

That is according to the man who discovered him as a youngster, Valencia legend Pep Claramunt.

The former Los Che midfielder has opened up to Tribalfootball.comabout scouting Isco as a youngster while he was playing with Atletico Benamiel.

After coming through the youth ranks at Mestalla, Isco made his first-team debut for Valencia in 2010.

Shortly after, fellow La Liga outfit Malaga activated a buy-out clause in Isco's contract which saw the playmaker return to his native Andalusia.

Claramunt called Isco his best signing for Valencia and explained how he joined the club.

"I have been friends of Isco's parents since he was a kid at Malaga," Claramunt said. "We brought him up to play a tournament in Moncada, Valencia.

"We signed him immediately, with his parents' permission and Isco stayed on and developed as a player through the ranks at Valencia for a long time from that tender age. My intuition was that Isco had a very distinctive vision that was different from the other players. Isco is a very intelligent player and creative too."

There is no question Isco has been successful at Real Madrid, having been part of four Champions League final wins, as well as two La Liga titles.

But the 28-year-old's inconsistent form in recent seasons has seen him linked with Manchester City and Manchester United.

Things have started poorly this season for the midfielder, who recently missed out on Spain's recent fixtures, and Claramunt says it is imperative for Isco to maintain full fitness to be effective.

"With that unique talent belies certain fragility underneath; you have to really know the player and the person to get the best out of them. He was absolutely key in Real Madrid winning past Champions Leagues along with Ronaldo. Isco was the best player for Spain in the World Cup too.

"He has creativity and vision. Isco knows what his mission is, he puts himself in positions that are difficult to mark, he knows how to break the tactics of the opponent and cause them trouble by getting amongst their lines.

"A player of Isco's calibre needs to be at peak fitness to be truly effective for the way they play football, which would explain why Zidane has had periods of not choosing him in the first eleven at Real Madrid…but he has won his place back now."

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