Barcelona and Croatia Ivan Rakitic is teammates with both Luka Modric and Lionel Messi.
On one hand, there’s international teammate Luka Modric, who won the Golden Ball for best player at the World Cup, added UEFA’s Best Men’s Player award, and is on the three-man list of finalists for FIFA’s award.
On the other, there’s Lionel Messi, who was shockingly left out of the three-man shortlists for both the UEFA and FIFA awards despite another stunning season for his club.
Rakitic has found a diplomatic answer to any Messi v Modric questions, however.
“Messi is the best player in the world and in the history of the game,” the midfielder said ahead of Croatia’s loss to Spain on Wednesday. “[But this year] Luka deserves everything,”
“Everyone in Croatia is delighted for him, because it’s a prize for the whole country,” Rakitic added of Modric’s winning the UEFA award.
“It would surprise me if he didn’t win any more awards.”