Luka Modric has said his former Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo told him he deserved to win the 2017-18 UEFA Player of the Year award. Modric beat out Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah for the award, which was presented last week at the Champions League draw in Monaco.
As a result of his snub, Ronaldo was a no-show at the event, with his agent Jorge Mendes later saying that his client not winning was “ridiculous and shameful.”Widespread reports had suggested that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was disgruntled after missing out on the accolade, given his goalscoring exploits for Real Madrid last year.
But in private, the Portugal and Juventus star took a more conciliatory approach to his former club team-mate, who led Croatia to the World Cup final this summer. Speaking after Portugal and Croatia played out a 1-1 friendly draw on Thursday, Modric said Ronaldo told him that he deserved to win the award.
“Cristiano sent me a message, congratulated me and told me he is happy for me and I deserved it,” Modric told RTP3 after the game.“He also said he can’t wait to meet me again.”
Ronaldo did not play in Thursday’s game, as he is rested ahead of a long club season with new side Juventus.
The two stars are set to battle for another award, with Ronaldo, Modric and Salah also nominated for FIFA’s The Best Men’s Player of the Year.“I am happy to be in another big award final, we’ll see what will happen,” Modric said.
“I have a good relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo and we’ll have good relationship in the future too.“Individual awards are important but I am not obsessed with them.”