Isco blasts claims he leaked starting XI before win over Chelsea
Real Madrid outcast Isco has dismissed claims that he is the’mole’ who is leaking team lineups, claiming that he has been ostracised to the point where he does not even know who will start against Chelsea.
Carlo Ancelotti has been on the lookout for someone within the club who has been leaking his starting lineups to radio stations several hours before kick-off, according to reports in the Spanish press.
In order to avoid this, he has begun naming his starting XI two hours before kick-off, rather than the usual hour.
That happened over the weekend before Real’s 2-0 win over Getafe in La Liga, and it happened again on Tuesday night before Real’s match against Chelsea, with the starting lineup revealed over two hours before kick-off.
Ancelotti was said to have discovered the identity of the mole, with Real fans speculating that Isco was the source on social media.
However, the playmaker, who has been left out of the squad for the last four matches in both the domestic and European leagues, hit back at the rumours on Twitter, claiming that he is not even involved in tactical meetings at the moment.
Isco no es, ya que no estoy convocado y no he asistido a la charla técnica, a mandar hate a otro lado! TRISTES?
— ISCO ALARCON (@isco_alarcon) April 12, 2022
‘I’m not called up [to the squad], so I haven’t attended the technical talk,’ Isco wrote in response to a fan who claimed he was the mole.
‘It’s therefore impossible that I leaked the Real Madrid starting lineup! ‘Send your venom somewhere else!’
He also wrote ‘SAD’ in block capital letters alongside a crying-laughing emoji, borrowing a line from the fake news-hating Donald Trump.
Isco is expected to leave the Bernabeu this summer after making just 11 appearances in La Liga – and none in the Champions League – and scoring just once this season under Ancelotti.
Ancelotti’s strategy of naming his starting lineup early did not appear to work at first, with Mason Mount scoring a fine first-half goal for Chelsea to cut their Champions League deficit in half.
After Karim Benzema’s stunning hat-trick at Stamford Bridge last week, Real went into Tuesday’s quarter-final second leg with a 3-1 lead, but Mount’s goal was followed by a powerful header from Antonio Rudiger after the restart to level the aggregate scores.
After a sublime pass from Luka Modric, Timo Werner put Chelsea ahead for the first time in the tie, only for Real substitute Rodrygo to level the scores once more, before Benzema sent the reigning champions packing with an extra-time winner.