Croatia midfielder Luka Modric was a deserved winner of the Ballon d’Or award after a “wonderful year” for both club and country, Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari said on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old Modric won a third straight Champions League title with Real and was the driving force in a Croatia team that reached the World Cup final.
“It’s Modric’s year. The focus has to be on him. He’s had a wonderful year and he’s given everything to Real Madrid and his national team,” said Solari.
“It comes at a time of maturity in his career. It seems to me that at that age it’s more beautiful because he can truly value it. We’re all very happy with his prize.”
Modric saw off competition from France’s World Cup stars to end a 10-year stranglehold on the award by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.