Luka Modric hits back Simeone: 'He always wants to undermine Real Madrid achievements'
- Atletico Madrid coach suggested Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann deserved the award more than Luka Modric
- Simeone also said that it is easier to win individual prizes playing for Real Madrid
- For Modric, the situation is clear: the Atletico boss only want to belittle the achievements of the city rivals
Cholo Simeone caused quite a stir earlier this month when he attacked Luka Modric, saying the Croatian maestro only won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA the Best award because he is a Madrid player:
"Clearly if you play for Atletico it is much more difficult [to win individual prizes] than at other clubs as our history is more about hard work and making a huge effort to get close to the important positions."
"If I was in Griezmann's place I would be very happy with all I achieved this year, being world champion, which is the most difficult. I congratulate Modric, who also had a very good season, but for me, the best were Varane and Griezmann, no doubt."
Modric has admitted that this kind of criticism from the Atletico boss has hurt him the most:
"I can understand Simeone defending one of his own players - Griezmann, and thinking It was the best, but it's to his detriment that he feels the constant need to belittle Real Madrid and our players. It takes advantage of every opportunity to imply there is something else behind Real Madrid's triumphs which is totally false.
"I have great respect for Simeone and for everything that Atletico have done," the Croatian maestro added. "I have great respect for their players, their fans and for the great club that Atletico Madrid is when they have beaten us, we congratulate them from the heart and accept the defeat sportingly. It is not fair or right that our achievements, including both of the Champions League finals against Athletic, gets turned into a constant, populist flu that Real Madrid benefit from [being] the favourite."
It has been announced by France Football on Monday that Luka Modric is the winner of the Ballon d'Or 2018 award.
The Croat has broken the famous duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi who has been winning the award for the past ten years (since 2008). The last player other than Ronaldo and Messi to win the Ballon d'Or was former Milan and Real Madrid midfielder Kaka.