BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 02: Ivan Rakitic of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's fifth goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and SD Huesca at Camp Nou on September 2, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 02: Ivan Rakitic of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's fifth goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and SD Huesca at Camp Nou on September 2, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

But the Croatian also believes his teammate Luka Modric was the best footballer in the 2017-2018 season that ended before the World Cup

For Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic, the best footballer in the whole world is his club teammate Lionel Messi.

But he also knows how hard his international teammate Luka Modric has worked to prove himself.

And Rakitic also believes Modric was the best footballer of the 2017-2018 season.

Modric was named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year last month and is one of three candidates for FIFA’s The Best.

“Messi is the best player in the world and in the history of the game [but this year] Luka deserves everything,” Rakitic told reporters as quoted by ESPN.

“Everyone in Croatia is delighted for him [winning the UEFA award] because it’s a prize for the whole country.”

“It would surprise me if he didn’t win any more awards,” he added.