MADRID: Croatian footballer Ivan Rakitic has said that his national team-mate Luka Modric should win everything that star striker Lionel Messi cannot.
The comment came after Modric was named as UEFA Best Player of the Year and earned a nomination for FIFA's 2018 Best Men's Player award.
The nomination left many people in shock as for the first time since 2006, Messi's name did not appear in the list of players who are in contention to win the FIFA Best Player award.
"If there is an individual prize that Lionel Messi can't win, then there's no doubt that this season it should go to Luka Modric. It wouldn't surprise me if he were to win with many more votes," Marca.com quoted Rakitic, as saying.
"This has been his year and I am really happy for him. If Messi isn't the best, then it has to be Modric," he added.
Modric rose to heights after his sensational performance in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He guided the Croatian team to the World Cup final, only to see the side ultimately losing 2-4 to France.
He was awarded the Golden Ball at the tournament for his outstanding performance.