Real Madrid and Croatia star Luka Modric revealed Cristiano Ronaldo congratulated him and said he deserved his UEFA Player of the Year award.
Modric, 32, was awarded the honour ahead of his former Madrid team-mate, who skipped the ceremony, and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah late last month.
There have been several reports suggesting that the Portuguese maestro was unhappy with the final decision, given his goalscoring exploits at club level over the past year.
But the classy midfielder said he had already received congratulations from Ronaldo, adding that the Juventus star told him he deserved the prize.
“I am happy to be in another big award final [Best FIFA Men’s Player], we’ll see what will happen,” Modric told RTP3 after Croatia played out a 1-1 friendly draw with Portugal on Thursday.
“I have a good relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo and we’ll have a good relationship in the future too. Individual awards are important but I’m not obsessed with them.
“Cristiano sent me a message, congratulated me and told me he is happy for me and I deserved it. He also said he can’t wait to meet me again.”
Ronaldo and Modric helped Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title last season, while the latter also guided Croatia to the World Cup final.
The veteran midfielder also won the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament in Russia and will now surely be a hot favourite to end the dominance of his former club colleague and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi by picking up the coveted Ballon d’Or award later in the year.
Messi and Ronaldo have shared the prize equally over the last decade with five wins each, but Modric would be a worthy winner this time around as all three men head into the twilight years of their respective careers.