Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has responded to the criticisms of Atletico Madrid’s manager Diego Simeone on him and his teammates.
In the midfielder’s first interview since winning the Ballon d’Or earlier this month, the 33-year-old spoke of the manager’s disparaging comments about the award and Madrid.
“I understand why Simeone has defended his own players,” Modric told Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti, as cited by Football Espana.
“I understand why he believes Griezmann was the best but in doing so he feels the need to disparage Real Madrid and the players here.
“There are suggestions that there is something else behind why Madrid players win these trophies, and that is not the case.
“I have a lot of respect for Atletico and Simeone, their players and their fans – they are a great club and whey they defeat us, I acknowledge it and congratulate them.
“But we have been hugely successful too, we have beaten them in two finals and it is not fair to say these achievements are due to favoritism.”