Full Name: Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez “Isco”
Team: Málaga CF
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Age: 19
Birth Date: April 21, 1992
Birth Place: Benalmádena, Spain
Height: 5 ft 9 in

A product of the Valencia CF’s prolific academy and player development system that has developed the likes of David Silva, Juan Mata, and now Isco Alarcón, the 19 year old has scored at every level he has played at for his country, from U16 through to U21. He has inevitably drawn comparisons to former Valencia creative force David Silva. While it is an apt comparison, Isco has more of an eye for goal than Manchester City’s mercurial midfielder due to his experience as a forward, and I would venture to compare the Spaniard to a young Ricardo Kaka. He certainly has all the tools to become a world class star in the coming years with high football intelligence, great passing vision, lightning quick feet, and the aforementioned eye for goal as a midfielder which so many of his countrymen in the senior national team lack at times.

Isco made his senior debut with Valencia CF on November 11, 2010 against UD Logroñés for the season’s Copa del Rey, scoring twice in a 4–1 home win, not bad for an eighteen year old. He was prolific for Valencia B (their reserve side) where he scored sixteen goals in fifty-two appearances. Despite many strong performances and his undeniable talent, Isco Alarcón has only featured four times for Valencia’s first team in the 2010-11 season and surprisingly, he was sold to Málaga CF, an aspiring club that was eager to spend the millions of its new Qatari owner. The team headed by Manuel Pellegrini showed tremendous vision and guts to sign the youngster, who had not quite gotten on the radar of Europe’s top clubs, for a fee of €6 million; while Isco, being born in Benalmádena, Málaga, Andalusia, was able to join his hometown club. Los Boquerones signed him up for five years, including a €20million buy-out clause which will rise to €24million by the end of his contract. This shows, yet again, a long term plan and ambition for the Andalusian club, as well as their belief that Isco can develop into a truly remarkable player.

Since joining Málaga CF, Isco has appeared twenty-three times, netted three goals and added an additional three assists. He has contributed to the ambitious club’s rise to fourth in La Liga and in the final qualification spot for next year’s Champions League. Isco is playing with the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Julio “The Beast” Baptista, and compatriot Santi Cazorla – a great group to play with and learn from for an intelligent and young footballer. He has been utilized in a playmaker’s role under Manuel Pelligrini but has been given the freedom to roam in the attacking third and utilize the space and his pace. He has scored some amazing goals in his short spell in first team football and any search for the youngster on YouTube will find some highlight videos worth watching.

As mentioned above, he has been prolific for his country at whatever level he has featured. He has accumulated forty-eight caps for Spain in his short career and has been a key in every side. Most notable are his spells with the U17 and U19 squads. At the U17 level Isco is fourth all-time in appearances with twenty-one showings, ahead of the likes of Bojan Krkic, Iker Muniainand David Silva. He was a part of the Spanish side that finished third at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup. With the Spanish U19 squad he produced a fruitful seven goals in only twelve appearances. Moving forward Isco is a consideration for La Roja’s Olympic side to go to London this summer but might find it difficult to break into a competitive U-23 squad as a twenty year old. Find the latest in his progress here at Football Cantera because this lad is going to impress.

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