Ivan Rakitic Names The Player He Considers Best In The World

Ivan Rakitic has revealed the best player in the world, and it is not his Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi. Instead, he thinks Luka Modric must win the Ballon d’Or. Having led Croatia to the FIFA World Cup final, Modric won a number of hearts, including his compatriot’s – who strongly feels that the Real Madrid midfielder is the greatest footballer on the planet. 

Modric and Rakitic formed the solid, creative and dynamic Croatian midfield that lost to France in the FIFA World Cup final. The former was also a part of the Los Blancos side that won the UEFA Champions League title for the third time in a row this year.

Modric recently pipped Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the UEFA Player of the Year accolade. It led to criticism from football observers, critics and fans, including Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes, who called the UEFA’s decision ‘shameful.’

Speaking to Novi List, Rakitic claimed, 'Luka is now La Liga's big gun, he is the best player in the world this year and we Croats are very proud of him. I wish him that last prize that is left for him to win [the Ballon d'Or] because he absolutely deserves it.”

'Those that are jealous of Luka, let them die in their jealousy! I am proud of him and as happy as if I was winning those awards!

'We've been together in national team for 11 years, went through a lot, I love him as my brother. I am happy he decided to stay in national team, I don't know what my decision would have been if he retired,' he continued.

Rakitic added that he had thought of retiring from international duty after the World Cup, but followed his heart in the end. He also believes the senior players need to be there in order to support the youngsters and ease the pressure of their shoulders.

Modric’s Real Madrid and Rakitic’s Barcelona have both started their league seasons with a 100% record. While Madrid take on Athletic Bilbao after the international break, Blaugrana travel to Real Sociedad.

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