Zinedine Zidane heaped praise on Luka Modric after the Croatian midfielder put in an inspired performance in Real Madrid's 4-1 victory over Eibar.
The crowd at Eibar's Ipurua Municipal Stadium applauded the 31-year-old off the field when he was substituted in the 71st minute, by which time a brace from Karim Benzema and further goals from James Rodriguez and Marco Asensio had put Madrid 4-0 ahead.
Modric has made just 15 La Liga appearances for Zidane's side this term, having missed parts of the season through knee and hamstring injuries, and the Frenchman described his contribution as "fundamental".
"When they applaud you, especially the rival supporters, it is not usual," said Zidane.
"We know that Luka is fundamental for us. He handles game situations very well and off the pitch, he is a spectacle because of his professionalism."
Modric joined the club in 2012 and has yet to help Madrid to a league title, but Zidane stressed the veteran playmaker's importance to his squad, saying: "I don't often say it, but his team-mates love him very much."