Sergio Ramos believes Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric deserves to beat Cristiano Ronaldo’s to the FIFA’s The Best Men’s Player award despite competing against “players with more marketing” for the prize.
Ronaldo has won the award in both years of its new incarnation, but his streak is under serious threat from Modric, who won the Golden Ball at the World Cup and was named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year. And Ramos believes the
Croatia captain would be a deserved winner of FIFA’s No. 1 individual honour, hinting awards have often been handed out to players who have the best off-field image.
“We will see [who wins The Best],” Ramos said when asked whether Modric should win ahead of fellow nominees Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah. “There are few players that I am as proud of having in my team as him.
“He is a great friend and a great player. He is one of the few players who [if he wins] would make me as happy as if they had given it to me.
“Maybe there are players with more marketing, with a bigger name but Modric deserves that award.”
Given that Ronaldo is the only winner of the rebranded award, which resurfaced in 2016 following FIFA’s split with France Football — alongside whom they presided over the Ballon d’Or award from 2010-2015 — Ramos, was asked if his comments were aimed at anyone in particular.
“No,” he replied. “But since there is nothing that defines the prize, everything adds up [to Modric winning the award].”
After Modric had claimed the UEFA Men’s Players of the Year award, Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes labelled the decision “simply ridiculous.” Ramos was asked about these quotes but refused to respond.