April 19 at 07:00
Isco was the star of the show as Real Madrid recently downed Sporting Gijon to keep their La Liga ambition firmly intact, and the Spanish playmaker used his moment in the limelight to pay a heartfelt tribute to a deaf fan. The 24-year-old opened the scoring in the tie for Madrid, equalising with a sublime effort on 17 minutes before later going on to strike in the dying moments and seal a crucial victory for his side.
Racing away to celebrate with his team-mates in tow, Isco used the moment with all eyes and cameras upon him to pay a heartfelt 'I love you' tribute to a young supporter and her deaf family members. Isco had met the young girl earlier in the week during a player meet and greet session, during which she had shown her idol how to say a very important message using sign language. Using his index and little fingers, Isco was shown how to sign 'I love you' and agreed with the young fan that this would be his celebration should his goal scoring form for Madrid continue. True to his word, Isco pulled out the sign language on the biggest stage of them all, not forgetting the young supporter and her family during his moment of glory. Isco's match-winning goal, a stunning 90th minute effort, saw him work an inch of space on the edge of the area before lashing a right-footed effort into the bottom corner, leaving Sporting goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar helpless.
The victory means Madrid retain their grip on the top spot of the Spanish division, standing three points ahead of fierce rivals Barcelona with a game-in-hand to play. Isco's prolonged form has finally seen him cement himself into the Madrid set-up on a permanent basis, following an uncertain start to his life in the Spanish capital. Madrid will be hoping the in-form playmaker can retain his magical touch when they host Bayern Munich for the Champions League return leg on Tuesday night. Zinedine Zidane's team currently lead the German champions by a 2-1 margin, carrying into the tie two crucial away goals picked up in Bavaria. Isco is in line to play against Bayern Munich as Madrid bid to retain their Champions League.
No sooner will their European showdown have come and gone Madrid will find themselves heading into what is comfortably their biggest game of the season - a La Liga 'El Clasico' showdown with Barcelona. Victory for Madrid would see them put one hand on the league trophy, with just six games of the season left to play.