How to Play Like Isco

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Let’s learn how to play soccer like a man named Isco. His full name is Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez, but like a Brazilian star he only goes by one name, Isco. The Real Madrid midfielder is becoming not just a star soccer player but a super star, maybe even one of the top players in the world, so it’s no wonder you want to learn how to play soccer like Isco.

Perfect ball into a forward’s feet.

His name is now being mentioned with the likes of Messi, in terms of value to his club, Real Madrid. And the soccer ball is tied to his foot when he dribbles just like Messi, so you can see the comparison, but it might be a bit too early to say Isco is as good as Messi.

Just this past weekend, Isco was the best player on the field when Spain faced off against Italy in a World Cup qualifier. Isco scored a goal with both the right and left foot, one at the top of the box and the other from a free kick. So if want to learn how to play like Isco, it crucial that you develop both your right and left feet.

Isco Alarcón, Real Madrid’s Spain international midfielder, has provided some top assists since joining the club in 2013. Relive some of his best assists here!


There was a interesting stat in La Liga that showed Isco had the most taken-ons so far out of any other player. Meaning that Isco had dribbled at or challenged the most player out of anyone in the league. This means spending time with the ball, dribbling the ball with both feet, which is just what Isco did growing up.

“When I was a boy, the neighbors all knew who I was because I’d take a ball with me everywhere I went.” – Isco

So if you want to learn how to play like Isco then you have to master the ability to dribble the ball right at defenders. And this is one skill that is unique in world football, as a lot of players know how to dribble and move the ball, but few really go at defenders and make them make a mistake. Here just some of Isco’s amazing skills on the soccer ball:

One thing that Isco also does is he seemed to move with the ball at his foot and his head up, he’s always looking around for the player who’s making a run. And he’s got his body protecting the ball when he’s dribbling, so he draws a lot of fouls. I’m guessing that his Real Madrid manager, Zidane, is having a big impact on his career and how he plays, surely boosting his confidence, if you have one of the best players ever to play telling you to keep going and you can do it.

Watch how Isco uses the sole of his foot, the bottom of his foot, to roll the ball through the legs of the Italian midfielder, Marco Verratti. Who thought a nutmeg would look so easy in a World Cup qualifier:

Isco is only 25 years old, so he’s really in the prime of his career, with 7 or 8 years left where he’ll be at the top of his game, if he avoids injuries. For Real Madrid, Isco could be the key player for their team once Cristiano Ronaldo retires. In some ways this could help Isco, as he’ll see even more of the ball, but without Ronaldo, teams can then focus more on Isco and try to stop him.

The best soccer skills that Isco possesses are his ability to pick out a teammate with a pass and just generally his ability to keep a hold of the ball so a player can get open. The two skills go together. He’s a Real Madrid player with a Barcelona style of play, in that way.

There’s a story going around that Manchester United scouted Isco when he was playing for Malaga, but they said he wasn’t good enough for United. And supposedly part of the reason was that Isco’s head was too big for his body – a very odd thing to say and not sure if it’s true that the scouts made that comment. But it’s going around the Internet, as things like that do. “He’s good, but not quite quick enough and his head is too big for his body,” was the verdict on the then 21-year-old playmaker.

Now, I’m sure Manchester United wished they had signed Isco from Malaga.

What stands out about Isco though is he will be dribbling the ball on wing and you think he’s going to lose the ball or not see the player making the run, but he does, and the ball gets there, and his teammate scores. Isco dribbles and carries the ball not just trying to score himself personally, but to open up space for someone else.

It’s almost like Isco wants the defender to come closer so he can spin away from him. And Isco loves to chop the ball back and fake like he’s going left, then pull the back and take the ball with his right – overall you’d have to say he loves his right foot like Messi loves his left.

Here’s Isco’s hat-trick versus Argentina. While it was only a friendly match and Messi wasn’t playing for Argentina, Isco scored some great goals and played extremely well overall. One thing Isco does really well is use his body to protect the ball. And there’s an art to how Isco plays and passes the ball.

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