Isco primed for final flourish in Cardiff after bits-and-pieces start to life at Real Madrid | Sid Lowe

Real Madrid midfielder will probably start the Champions League final against Juventus in Cardiff after supporting roles from the bench in the previous two

Isco has always had a wonky walk. “Odd,” he has called it: feet twisted, legs bendy, hips rolling, backside slung low – and still completely in control of the ball, never far from his foot. It was Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos who first called him “Magia” but soon everyone in the Real Madrid dressing room followed – and you have to have something a little special if they are calling you magic. Or if Zinedine Zidane, that ballet dancer in boots, says “he can do things very few players can do”.

Francisco Alarcón reckons neighbours knew him as the kid that went everywhere with a ball. “My football comes from the streets”, he says; played in the plaza by his home with his older brother and his mates and on the gravel pitches of Atlético Benamiel.

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