The Champions League final perfectly portrayed Isco and James’ constrasting fortunes. While Isco played an integral role in the demolition job on Juventus, James couldn’t even make the bench. Both players like to play in an attacking role. Zidane clearly favours Isco with James reportedly heading for the door. Two world-class attacking midfielder but who do you think is better? It’s Isco V James.
Isco V James: The case for Isco
Zidane is proving that his genius also extends to the touch-line. Isco has become a crucial part of the Madrid team that has blown away all comers this season. The Spaniard’s stats this campaign are impressive. In just 30 domestic appearances (12 as a sub), Isco managed 10 goals and 8 assists. His passing success rate was 89.4%. While he also secured five man of the match awards.
Offensively, Isco contributed 1.2 key passes and 1.8 dribbles per match. In the Champions League, his average for key passes during a game was 1 while he upped his dribbling to 2.7 per match. Isco actually only played 386 minutes of Champions League football this season, and he managed one goal during these games.
While James’s season went from bad to diabolical, Isco’s trajectory went in the opposite direction. He ended up as a star player for Real and was a major reason they lifted the Champions League trophy for the second consecutive year.
Isco v James: the case for James
Perhaps the formation doesn’t suit James’ play? Or maybe Zidane doesn’t trust the defensive side of his game. It does appear that the Colombian magician is being criminally underused at the Bernabeu. In just 22 league appearances this season, 9 of those coming as a substitute, James racked up 8 goals and 6 assists. His passing completion was at 89.1%, his highest since he arrived at Real. He took 1.5 shots per game and most impressively, managed to contribute 2 key passes every match.
James did not light up the Champions League this season, playing a total of 318 minutes. The midfielder still managed to create 2 assists and have 1.7 key passes per match. His successful dribbles per game sat at an astonishingly low 0.3 which probably reflects his unsuitability for Zidane’s preferred formation.
When James scored that wonder goal at the 2014 World Cup, it wasn’t long before Madrid signed him. 13 goals plus 13 assists in just 29 games during his first season showed what a talent he is. James shouldn’t be judged on this wretched season. When comparing Isco and James, there can only be one winner.
What do you think? Zidane has clearly made up his mind already, but is Isco really better than James? Let us know by voting below:
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