The Portugal superstar bagged the match ball in a thrilling World Cup encounter, with his efforts frustrating a number of Real Madrid colleagues.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Isco
Isco has claimed that he is “not going to speak to Cristiano Ronaldo again” after seeing his Real Madrid team-mate net a hat-trick for Portugal against Spain at World Cup 2018.
An Iberian derby on Russia soil was expected to produce fireworks, and it did not disappoint as a topsy-turvy encounter swung one way and then the other – with a familiar figure having the final word.
Ronaldo proved to be a thorn in the side of a number of club colleagues as he recorded the 51st treble of his remarkable career, with a stunning late free-kick bagging him the match ball.
Spain were fully aware of the threat posed by a five-time Ballon d’Or winner but they were still unable to contain him, much to the disappointment of Isco.
A man who has won a number of major honours alongside Ronaldo at the Santiago Bernabeu joked to Cadena SER when asked about the exploits of his close friend who is now a fierce rival: “Don't talk to me about Cristiano!
“I'm not going to speak to him again after what he did the other day.
“He doesn't have a high strike rate [from free-kicks], but when he has his day… his first two goals gave him confidence and got him looking for his hat trick.”
Having been held in their opening encounter, much-fancied Spain have plenty to do in order to reach the knockout stage.
Their next Group B fixture will see them face Iran on Wednesday, with Isco adamant that belief inside the camp remains high despite the untimely sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the finals.
He added: “It's true that it was a complicated situation for us to be in, but the hope and belief the squad has is way beyond any setback.
“I think we showed great maturity to deal with what happened and we realise that the most important thing of all is that we are here at the tournament.
“It's a nice challenge for us to confront and we have to give everything we've got to put any issues behind us; we have to pull together and take this forward, like we did against Portugal.”
Isco did not find the target in a 3-3 draw with Portugal, but he did strike the crossbar with one fierce drive and caught the eye with his neat footwork and tidy build up play.
Pressed on whether he could be a contender to claim the Golden Ball in Russia, the 26-year-old playmaker said: “We're still at the start and it's not something I have in mind. The team comes first.
“If the team does well and we go far then it's easier to be considered for those kinds of individual awards.”