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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Isco calls for Modric Ballon d'Or after Champions League win

Isco calls for Modric Ballon d'Or after Champions League win

GABRIEL BOUYS

AFP

Real Madrid star Isco believes his fellow midfielder Luka Modric deserves to win the 2018 Ballon d'Or.

Luka Modric should win the 2018 Ballon d'Or, according to Real Madrid team-mate Isco.

Modric stars for Real in opening Champions League win

Modric shone as Madrid opened their latest Champions League title defence by beating Roma 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday.

Isco's free-kick gave Madrid the lead in the Group G clash before Modric's brilliant pass sent Gareth Bale through to add a second, with substitute Mariano Díaz on target in stoppage time.

Modric won the Golden Ball for his performances at the World Cup, where the midfielder led Croatia to a surprise appearance in the final.

And Isco believes further individual honours should follow for Modric, who has now set up 12 goals for Bale, more than anyone else in the Wales star's career.

"He deserves the Ballon d'Or, he's a unique player"

"Modric gives us a lot every game," Isco said to Movistar of Modric, who was linked with Inter during the transfer window.

"He's fundamental for us. hopefully we can all be at his level. He deserves the Ballon d'Or, he's a unique player."

Although it took until shortly before half-time for Madrid to break the deadlock, Isco bending in a superb free-kick, the result was thereafter never in doubt.

More to come from Real Madrid, says Isco

But even though Julen Lopetegui collected three points on his first Champions League game in charge, Isco feels there is more to come from Madrid.

"We are very happy, it is a strong result with a very good game, we could have scored more," Isco added.

"We have to keep improving, we just started and we have time to correct the small mistakes."

Daniele De Rossi fouled Isco for Madrid's opening goal and the Roma captain accepted his side, semi-finalists last term, had been outplayed as Eusebio Di Francesco's men saw their winless run stretch to four games

"You always get demoralised when playing against a team that forces you to run and run without seeing the ball," De Rossi told Sky Sport Italia. "We had the chances to be dangerous on the counter, but they have very good defenders as well as forwards, so it wasn't easy to score.

"They are strong, but we have to remember our own strength and show it once more. We can only work hard, focus on Bologna [on Sunday] and not anything else. We need points in Serie A and that will be a tough game."

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