Far more than just a goal. That’s what Isco contributed on Tuesday night in the UEFA Super Cup as the Real Madrid midfielder got his name on the scoresheet to round off an exceptional performance across the pitch for his team.
As the clock ticked onto the 72nd minute in the Macedonian capital of Skopje, Zinedine Zidane substituted his new favourite player to applause from all around the stadium, a telling sign that Isco had made his mark on yet another big occasion.
Previously criticised for failing to score often enough, the Spaniard popped up in the 52nd minute against Manchester United to convert a one-two with Gareth Bale and effectively seal the title.
It was a sultry pass into the net, through the infallible David De Gea, that embodied a swashbuckling performance in which he showed great vision, technique, and skill.
Jose Mourinho was keenly aware of Isco’s ability going into the game and targeted him with plenty of force, leading to seven fouls on the attacking midfielder throughout the night; Nemanja Matic earning a booking for a particularly fierce lunge in the first half.
“Madrid are a very powerful team and we are happy,” Isco told reporters after the match . “We played very well as a team and we winning is our obligation.
“United are very good, but we were the best team and we have a spectacular squad with a promising future.
“The staff are doing a great job, we do not fail because of the relationship in the dressing room. We’ve built a winning group.”