Real Madrid's Isco
Real Madrid's Isco Reuters

Real Madrid wrapped up an easy win at home against Italian club Roma in their first match of this year's Champions League.

Spanish attacking midfielder Isco was the star of the show, who opened the scoring with a beautiful, curling free-kick, while goals from Gareth Bale and Mariano ensured a comfortable 3-0 victory for the defending champions.

Following the match, Isco praised Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric and said that the midfielder, who guided Croatia to their first-ever World Cup final, deserved to win the Ballon d'Or this year.

Isco said that his Madrid teammate offers a lot to the team in every game and deserves to win the Ballon d'Or, football's most prestigious individual trophy. "Modric gives us a lot every game. He's fundamental for us. Hopefully, we can all be at his level. He deserves the Ballon d'Or, he's a unique player," said Isco.

But Real Madrid teammate Casemiro feels that former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo should win the award this year: "Luka's year has been spectacular. But in my opinion I would give it to Cristiano Ronaldo because he has been the best throughout last season," said the Brazilian.

The main contenders for this year's award are Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Luka Modric and Lionel Messi, with critics divided on who deserves to win the prestigious award. Messi and Ronaldo have won 5 Ballon d'Ors apiece, while Modric and Salah have never won the award.

At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Modric led his team from the front, with Croatia beating big teams like Argentina and England, as well as hosts Russia, on their way to the final, where they lost 4-2 to France.

Modric won the Golden Ball at the World Cup, awarded to the best player of the tournament, finishing ahead of Eden Hazard and Antoine Griezmann.