Modric ended a 10-year reign of dominance in which Messi and Ronaldo picked up five Ballons d’Or apiece when he collected the top individual award in football in a ceremony in Paris earlier this month.
But neither Messi nor Ronaldo were in attendance to see the Ballon d’Or awarded to the heartbeat of the Real Madrid side which won the Champions League, and the Croatia side which reached the World Cup final.
Speaking in an exclusive interview in his home country, Modric was clearly unimpressed with their conduct.
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“I cannot say why someone did not attend – that’s their choice,” Modric told Sportske Novosti. “That is logical, is it not?
It turns out these choice 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.
“But I repeat, everyone behaves the way they think they need to.”
Modric described Ronaldo and Messi as “phenoms” but emphasised that the Ballon d’Or recognised the player who had had the best year in football – not necessarily the most talented.
“Here we are talking about seasonal performance, and it probably means that all the coaches, players, football legends and journalists have voted the same.
“Or are they all mistaken at the same time?
“If we vote on the quality of the player, then the only thing left is 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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