Wayne Rooney revealed that he would have voted for Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the 2018 Ballon d’Or instead of the winner Luka Modric.
On the back of another goal-laden year for both Real Madrid and Portugal, Ronaldo was one of the strong favourites to win both a record sixth Ballon d’Or award and for the third successive time.
But the 34-year-old forward was forced to settle a second-place for a record sixth time instead, while former Real team-mate Modric took home the big prize in a ceremony at Paris in December.
This came following Modric’s brilliant displays for Croatia on route to the 2018 World Cup final, while also helping Real to a third consecutive Champions League title alongside Ronaldo.
Due to this, voting football journalists ultimately decided to give Modric the nod over Ronaldo.
However, if he could have voted for the football’s biggest individual in 2018, Rooney insists he would have gone for his former Manchester United team-mate Ronaldo.
“Luka Modric is a fantastic player,” Rooney told DAZN. “I think his passing is great and the way he moves with the ball.
“Actually he doesn’t look that quick to the eye but when you play against him he glides past players. He’s a fantastic player, he’s had a great career.
“I don’t think he’s the best player in the world but in terms of the year is he worthy of it? Of course he is. He had a great year with Real Madrid and obviously had a great run as captain with Croatia.
“I think if it was player-voted I would have voted for Ronaldo this year, but taking nothing away from Luka Modric. He won it so he deserves it.”
The former England captain recalled taking on Modric during the Croatian’s time at Tottenham.
“He wasn’t a midfield player who before the game you would think: ‘oh no, we’re playing against Luka Modric’,” Rooney added.
“He’s not like a Patrick Vieira-style player or Roy Keane where he’s commanding, he’s a different kind of player.
“But his ability, his passing, he can shoot with both feet. As I said before, he takes the ball and glides, creates opportunities, so he’s a fantastic player.”
After leaving United in 2017, Rooney now plays for MLS side DC United and ended his first campaign stateside with 12 goals and six assists in 21 appearances.