Real Madrid midfielder Isco has pushed for team-mate Luka Modric to win the Ballon d’Or this year after another superb performance against Roma in the Champions League.
Goals from Isco, Gareth Bale and Mariano saw the La Liga side comfortably dispatch of their Italian visitors but in truth, it could, and should, have been so much more.
Madrid did go close seven minutes before the break with a Sergio Ramos header but Roma keeper Robin Olsen was able to tip the effort over the bar.
However, Los Blancos did take the lead at the end of the half. De Rossi was booked for bringing down Isco on the edge of the box with the Spaniard stepping up to clip the free-kick over the wall and into the corner of the net.
A great through ball from Luka Modric found Bale who set himself before drilling a low left foot shot across the goal into the bottom corner of the net.
Substitute Mariano, making his return to the Bernabeu after a year with Lyon, cut inside before bending a lovely shot into the top corner to get Real off to the perfect start in Group G.
What did Isco have to say on his team-mate….
“We already know what Modric’s like, he’s a great player and he gives us a lot in each game. Hopefully we can all be at his level,” Isco told reporters after the game.
“I also think he deserves the Ballon d’Or for being a unique player for us and Croatia.”
The other game in the group saw CSKA Moscow score a last minute penalty as they came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Viktoria Plzen.