Dani Ceballos described Cristiano Ronaldo as "the soul of the team" after he made a decisive return to action in Real Madrid's Champions League win over APOEL.
The Portugal star scored twice to take his career tally in the competition to 107 and give Zinedine Zidane's side a winning start in the defence of the trophy.
It was Ronaldo's first competitive appearance for Madrid since the first leg of the Supercopa de Espana, with the 32-year-old to serve the final instalment of a five-match domestic ban against Real Sociedad on Sunday.
The European and Spanish champions have drawn their last two LaLiga games in his absence and Ceballos has admitted that they need him back as soon as possible.
"With Cristiano on the field, we're always more comfortable and he gives us the confidence that turns in to goals," he said.
"He's the soul of the team, he's fundamental for us and he's in better shape than ever. He's had a great game and his ambition makes him the best in the world."
It was Ceballos' first appearance since his debut in the Supercopa and the 21-year-old revelled in realising a dream by playing in Europe's top competition.
"I am happy to have started my Champions League dream with a win, it will be hard to forget," said Ceballos, who joined from Real Betis in July for a reported fee of €18million.
"It is a special day for me, a dream come true. The team started well and we were electric in the second half, which led to us getting a great win.
"We are trying to write history, it is in our hands and we showed the drive we have to win a third consecutive Champions League title."
|Manchester City youngster Bytyqi retires with heart condition|
|England can thrive on hostile atmosphere - O´Loughlin|
|Salah could become the Premier League´s greatest African star - Lauren|
|Lauren reserves judgement on Man City´s invincible credentials|
|Goffin and Tsonga cancel each other out on opening day of Davis Cup final|
|Stafford admits ankle is ´not 100 percent´ after Lions´ loss to Vikings|
|Bayern boss Heynckes slams ´insanity´ of Champions League ticket prices|
|Messi hails Barcelona team-mates after European Golden Shoe triumph|
|Napoli´s Hamsik saves space for a Serie A title-winning tattoo|
|Jardim urges quick Monaco response to Champions League woe|
|You always have a chance - Wagner hopeful of Man City scalp|
|Chelsea´s tough title defence was to be expected - Klopp|
|Horne replaces Dunbar in Scotland XV|
|Neymar and Cavani bound by common goal at PSG|
|Simeone: Everything seems better when Atletico win|
|F1 Raceweek: Scores to be settled in Abu Dhabi|
|Injuries not to blame for Real Madrid LaLiga position - Zidane|
|Icardi could stay at Inter forever, says Spalletti|
|Former England star Owen finishes second on horse racing debut|
|Emery backs Mbappe to shine on Monaco return|
|Robben-less Heynckes handed timely Coman boost|
|Guardiola not complacent ahead of Huddersfield clash|
|Trump to ´quickly´ play golf with Woods and Johnson|
|Salah not Liverpool´s only threat, insists Conte|
|Klopp trusts Moreno ´100 per cent´ despite Sevilla shocker|
|No excuses for Conte despite Chelsea´s travel trouble|
|Salah has nothing to prove in Chelsea reunion, says Klopp|
|We´re on the Ball - Paceman Jake says England´s homework is paying off|
|Bale return could be imminent - Zidane|
|Megson´s interim role is no audition as he awaits permanent West Brom boss|
|Bosz has derby focus despite Dortmund criticism|
|Kaka predicts bright future for Milan´s Silva|
|Lyon not sorry for controversial pre-Ashes comments|
|Ashwin takes four as India skittle out Sri Lanka|
|Messi equals Ronaldo with fourth European Golden Shoe|
|Mourinho fears Fellaini exit amid Arsenal, PSG links|
|I don´t know what you want - Mourinho blasts Man United critics|
|Mourinho protecting Pogba and Ibrahimovic as they prepare for Brighton|
|Stoke to offer Crouch fresh deal|
|Record-breaker Holmes hits Fiji for six as Australia march into final|
|Del Piero expects Juventus and Dybala to rediscover top form|
|Melbourne City 1 Perth Glory 3: Ten-man hosts pay the penalty|
|Chawrasia´s challenge on track in Hong Kong|
|Herbert leads Australian Open with Day poised|
|Moyes wants greater ref protection for Carroll|
|Unsworth questions players´ commitment after Atalanta embarrassment|
|Pistorius prison sentence more than doubled|
|Who, what, when and where? – All you need to know about the 2018 World Cup draw|
|PSG prepare for Monaco with order restored and European dominance in mind|
|Wenger calms Welbeck injury fears after planned substitution|
|The Ashes round-up: Smith and Marsh steady ship after early England burst|
|Kaka unsure over playing future amid Milan directorship offer|
|Monaco v Paris Saint-Germain: The Opta facts as Mbappe returns with Neymar in tow|
|Smith, Marsh lead revival as Australia fight back against England|
|USA claim World Cup qualifying win|
|Warner and Khawaja fall in dominant England spell|
|Rivers leads Chargers past Cowboys, Vikings beat Lions|
|Griezmann happy at Atletico, says Koke|
|Maxwell puts pressure on Marsh and selectors with blazing century|
|England collapse as Aussies bowl out Ashes tourists for 302|
|Ronaldo will deliver when needed for Madrid – Alonso|
|Hunt recommits to Wallabies, Reds|
|Blues appoint Fittler in quest for Origin glory|
|Starc rips knee, pants at Gabba|
|Rodrigo commits to Valencia until 2022|
|Parker news conference unprofessional, says Joshua|
|All Blacks injuries no help to Wales – Gatland|
|Domestic bliss? Montella targets Serie A resurgence after Europa League success|
|Rooney stands by Unsworth after Everton humiliation|
|He deserved more chances – Hazard hails ´top player´ Salah|