‘Unfair on players & fans’: Modric takes swipe at Messi & Ronaldo over Ballon d’Or no-shows

15 Dec, 2018 13:23

Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric has taken a pop at former serial winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over their decision to snub this year’s ceremony.

Modric was crowned the world’s best player earlier in December, ending Messi and Ronaldo’s 10-year stranglehold over the accolade.

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Neither the Barcelona star nor the Juventus forward were in attendance, apparently having got wind that they would be shunned for the award.

Ronaldo finished second on the list while Messi was a lowly fifth.

Modric told Croatian news outlet Sportske Novosti that the pair’s decision not to attend the glitzy bash in Paris was their choice, but that it was also a slight to fellow players as well as fans.

“I cannot say why someone did not attend – that’s their choice, that is logical, is it not?

"It turns out these choices and trophies only have value when they get them.

“It is not fair to their playing colleagues, or to the voters who have nominated them for the past 10 years – nor for football or supporters," the playmaker said.

“But I repeat, everyone behaves the way they think they need to.”

Messi and Ronaldo have clinched the award five times each in the past decade as they dominated the football awards landscape.

That changed this year thanks to Modric’s efforts in helping club team Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title – alongside Ronaldo – before captaining Croatia on a remarkable run to the final  of the World Cup, where he was voted player of the tournament.

While many lauded the 33-year-old Modric for his achievements, there was bafflement as to Messi’s position on the Ballon d’Or list in particular.

READ MORE: ‘Messi’s fifth place is absurd’: Barca coach Valverde on Ballon d’Or vote

Modric did pay tribute to former teammate Ronaldo and Argentina ace Messi, saying: “Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi are two phenomenal players that have dominated for 10 years.

“[But] here we are talking about seasonal performance, and it probably means that all the coaches, players, football legends and journalists have voted the same.  

“Are they all mistaken at the same time?

“If we vote on the quality of the player, then it is only left to distribute all the trophies for Messi and Ronaldo as long as they are actively playing and to abandon any vote.”  

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Modric also pipped Messi and Ronaldo to the FIFA Best Men's Player award at a ceremony in London in September, which was also shunned by the pair. 

The prolific Portugal forward finished second on that occasion, with Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah third.