Spain's Isco celebrates scoring their first goal in World Cup match against Morocco - Kaliningrad Stadium, Russia - June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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Spain's turbulent World Cup campaign, which has witnessed the sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui plus three underwhelming performances and only one victory, has at least had one saving grace in the emergence of a new leader in Isco.With David Silva and Andres Iniesta showing only sparks of their usual quality, Spain will again look to Isco for inspiration in Sunday's last-16 clash against hosts Russia.Spain's never-ending cast of exceptional midfielders, from Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and David Silva to Thiago Alcantara and Koke meant Isco has had to wait his turn to find his place in the national team.With Iniesta and Silva set to be playing their last major tournament and influential dressing room figures like Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos over 30, Isco's coming of age also bodes well for Spain's long-term future.
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