It was an Australian “adventure” that turned into a life-altering experience that continues on Saturday night with a 200th appearance for Adelaide United.
When Spanish midfielder Isaias first arrived in Adelaide in 2013, he had no inkling he would still be in South Australia nine years later.
“No, no, no – impossible,” he said when asked if he thought he would ever chalk up a double century of games in all competitions for the Reds.
“I just came more as an adventure and to experience a different league, learn a new language and all this small stuff.
“After that, I became an Australian citizen and now I’m playing 200 games for Adelaide.
“For me this is a special club, a special city and a beautiful country to live and to grow the family.
“After being here for a few years, I feel now it’s my home. I feel really comfortable (and) my family is really happy here.”
Making the occasion more special on Saturday night is that the Reds are hosting Melbourne Victory.
It’s the A-League’s “Original Rivalry”, and with South Australia being a one-team A-League state, games against the Victory come closest to producing a derby-type atmosphere at Coopers Stadium.
“I cannot imagine a better game to play in this special occasion for me,” Isaias said.
“I look forward to seeing a lot of Reds fans on Saturday for the game, because they help us a lot to perform better.”
The third-placed Reds are backing up from a disappointing 3-0 away loss to the Central Coast Mariners last Saturday.
They have now gone three matches without a win, with two of them ending in defeats.
“It’s a very important point for us to turn this situation around before it goes too far,” Isaias said.
Provided the Reds can turn their form around, Isaias is sure to be a key part of Adelaide’s push for another A-League title.
Winning the championship with the Reds in 2016 is an obvious career highlight for the 35-year-old midfielder, who has also been part of two FFA Cup finals wins with Adelaide.
“We have a few highlights that I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Isaias, who after two seasons in Qatar with Al-Wakrah, returned to Adelaide in August last year.
“I hope I can play a lot more games in a Reds shirt.”
The Victory is also in search of winning form on Saturday night.
The Tony Popovic-coached team has drawn its past four A-League matches. In that period, the Victory also lost 4-3 to Japanese club Vissel Kobe in an AFC Champions League playoff.
“Putting the results aside, we’ve played very well the last three matches after coming back from Japan,” Popovic said.
“The players are feeling really good; they’re positive, they’re healthy, and we know every game is a big game, but that’s how it should be for Melbourne Victory.”