Isco will become Spanish football's most important player, says Casillas

The goalkeeper, who celebrated his 500th La Liga appearance in the 2-0 win over Elche on Sunday, says his young team-mate has huge potential

Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas says team-mate Isco is destined to become “the most important player in Spanish football”.

Isco has been in sensational form for Los Blancos in recent months and played another starring role in Sunday’s 2-0 win at Elche, setting up Cristiano Ronaldo for his side’s second goal with a fine cross from the left.

The €30 million signing from Malaga now sits top of this season’s Liga assists table alongside Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke, with both players having created eight goals for their respective sides.

Casillas is thus in no doubt that the 22-year-old is only going to get better as he matures and become even more important to Madrid.

“Isco will be the most important player in Spanish football in the coming years,” the goalkeeper told Canal Plus.

“We are delighted with him but he must take care, focus on his game and go step by step. Too much flattery can weaken players.”

The game at Elche was Casillas’ 500th in La Liga for Madrid, taking him to within 50 of Raul. However, the 33-year-old shot stopper insists he does not have his eye on his former team-mate’s record.

“I am thankful to have reached such a milestone,” Casillas said.

“At another club, it would have been more difficult to get there. I hope I can get more, but I don’t think about Raul’s record. He is a legend at Real Madrid and his numbers are outrageous.”

Madrid’s latest win saw them move four points clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga and Casillas said he was thrilled with the way in which Madrid have responded to their humiliating 4-0 defeat at Atletico with three successive 2-0 wins in all competitions.

“Three weeks ago the team was criticised and now it seems that everything is quiet again,” he added.

“The important thing is that the team did not collapse. There are always good and bad times but we have done well to recover from the puncture at the Vicente Calderon. It has not been easy and now we have another tough month.”

Madrid next host Villarreal on March 1 before travelling to San Mames to take on Athletic Bilbao six days later.

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