Real Madrid’s Luka Modric handed the Ballon d’Or trophy to Lionel Messi on Monday and then expressed his respect for the Barcelona forward.
Lionel Messi received the Ballon d’Or trophy from 2018 winner Luka Modric on Monday, with the Real Madrid midfielder then congratulating Barcelona’s forward on social media.
Modric ended Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s 10-year duopoly on the prestigious prize last year having helped Croatia reach the World Cup final after winning a third successive Champions League with Real Madrid.
It was Messi’s turn to win the award again this year, though, as he claimed a record sixth Ballon d’Or having scored 41 goals in 44 club appearances so far across the calendar year.
Messi was LaLiga’s top scorer in 2018-19 as Barcelona beat Real Madrid to the title, though that did not stop Modric praising a star on the other side of the Clasico divide.
“Sports and football are not just about winning, they’re also about respect for your team-mates and rivals,” he wrote on his social media accounts alongside a picture of him handing Messi the award.
— Luka Modrić (@lukamodric10) December 2, 2019