After handing out the Ballon d’Or award to Argentine striker Lionel Messi, Real Madrid’s Luka Modric said that football is just not about winning, it is also about having respect for your team-mates and rivals.
Modric had won the Ballon d’Or last year, but he did not even find a place in the 30-man nomination list and as a result, he became the first Ballon d’Or winner not to be nominated in the next year’s edition.
“Sports and football are not just about winning, they’re also about respect for your teammates and rivals,” Modric tweeted.
Messi was awarded his sixth Ballon D’Or on Monday and as a result, he went past Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. This was Messi’s first Ballon d’Or win since 2015.
Ronaldo has won the award five times. He last won it in 2017.
Modric had pipped Cristiano Ronaldo last year to win the award; however, Juventus’ player Giorgio Chiellini accused Real Madrid of blocking Cristiano Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or last year.
“It is OK that Messi has won the Ballon d’Or this year. The real theft was last year; Real Madrid decided that Cristiano should not win the Ballon d’Or. It was really strange. Cristiano won the Champions League, but I suppose by that logic Van Dijk should have won it this year,” Goal.com quoted Chiellini as saying.
“Maybe last year Griezmann, Pogba or Mbappe should have won for doing extraordinary things at the World Cup. Modric made no sense,” he added.
Modric had won the 2017-18 Champions League with Real Madrid and he had also earned the Golden Ball at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after enabling his side Croatia to reach the finals of the global tournament.
In that season, Modric also won the Best FIFA Men’s Player and UEFA Men’s Player of the Year.