Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has appeared to take a sly dig at former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony later this month.
Ronaldo is in the running for the individual award, FIFA’s new edition of their old Player of the Year award having moved away from the Ballon d’Or awards – presented by French magazine France Football – two years ago. The Portuguese ace has won the accolade in both of the first two years, beating Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
But he faces alternative competition this year with ex-Madrid team-mate Luka Modric and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah the other two finalists. Although Ronaldo won the Champions League for a third successive season, scored 15 goals in Los Blancos’ victorious European campaign and 44 in all competitions at the age of 33, Modric is seen as a viable contender to steal the prize.
And Madrid skipper Ramos has appeared to take a crafty jab at Ronaldo when discussing who he thinks should win the award in London on September 24. He said to ESPN: “We will see. There are few players that I am as proud of having in my team as him [Modric]. 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.”
When asked whether he was referring to anyone in particular with that comment, Ramos said: “No. But since there is nothing that defines [who should win] the prize, everything adds up [to Modric winning the award].” Modric recently beat Ronaldo to be named the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award at the Champions League group stage draw last month, with Salah also on the three-man shortlist in Monaco.
I think ethically it should be given to Modric this time. He has sigle-handedly dragged Crotia to the World Cup final. Ronaldo has been instrumental for Real in the Champions League but he was quite underwhelming when it came to the World Cup. So, just like the UEFA Best player award, ‘The Best’ should be given to Modric.