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The Real Madrid star has paid homage to the world’s best duo but believes his time for personal silverware had come.
Luka Modric believes Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are out of this world, but feels his campaign deserved to be recognised with FIFA’s Best Men’s Player award.
The Real Madrid and Croatia star claimed the prize ahead of Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah on Monday.
Modric helped Madrid win the Champions League before claiming the Golden Ball at the World Cup, where he led Croatia to the final.
While the midfielder was full of praise for Ronaldo and Messi, who were both notably absent from the ceremony, he said his season was also worthy of recognition.
“I am happy because other players are recognised, the ones before deserved to win but couldn’t do it,” Modric said.
“The goals are important, especially players like Cristiano and Messi are apart from this world. They are the two players of the world.
“But other players have to be recognised when they have a good year. I am happy it happened this way and I hope it happens in the future with other midfielders or defenders.”
Croatia fell just short of a fairytale World Cup title, losing to France in the final in Russia.
Modric, 33, said he would happily give up his individual honours for the World Cup title.
“Of course I would change everything to have won in Russia. For me, the team is always more important,” he said.
“And I would of course change all my individual trophies for that trophy to be World Cup champions.
“But of course this is also recognition for all the hard work, for the season that I had for Real Madrid and the national team. And for this I am happy that people recognise me as the best for this year.”