Luka Modrić speaks out about Ronaldo and Messi missing his Ballon d'Or victory
"Cristiano sent me a message, congratulated me and told me he is happy for me and I deserved it."
Cristiano Ronaldo's representatives may have been disgusted at their man missing out on the Uefa Player of the Year award, earlier this year, but the player did reach out with some warm words to Luka Modrić.
The Juventus and Portugal star did not attend that awards ceremony and he also missed out on this year's Ballon d'Or event.
With Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Modrić heavily tipped to add the world's best player accolade to the Uefa award, and the Golden Ball he picked up at the World Cup, Ronaldo and Lionel Messi steered clear.
Many were unhappy with the two players that had shared the Ballon d'Or for a decade both being far down in the top 10 once the votes were compiled.
In a feature interview with Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti, Modric was asked about the awards ceremony snub from Messi and Ronaldo. Here is what he had to say:
Q: How do you feel about Messi and Ronaldo not attending the awards show and all the criticism of you as the winner that came from their circles and from their fans?
MODRIC: I can't say why somebody decided not to show up. That's their choice. It doesn't make much sense to me not to attend, though. I guess they liked showing up when they were winning the awards. Such behavior is unfair towards the other players, the fans, the game and finally towards the voters who gave them the award for 10 years in a row. But I guess everyone acts as they please.
Q: Maybe they didn't like you ending their domination in this competition? And Messi did vote for you, to be fair.
MODRIC: Look, it's all very simple to me. Messi and Ronaldo are two football phenoms that have been dominating the game for the last decade. They are a cut above the rest, skill-wise. But this is a seasonal award. Most of the players, managers, football legends, journalists, fans, voted for the same winner (in major award shows this year). I guess they are all wrong? If we are giving out awards based on skill only, then just cancel the voting and give them all to Messi and Ronaldo.
Well said, Luka.
In years to come, if football fans look back and moan about where Ronaldo and Messi finish, they'll have far too much time on their hands.