Messi voted for Ronaldo in The Best FIFA Awards as his third choice. The Argentina captain picked two of the architects of his nation’s World Cup failure among his nominations, while Ronaldo rewarded two Madrid stars

Barcelona star Lionel Messi recognised Luka Modric as 2018’s best player in the voting for FIFA’s The Best awards, the federation has confirmed.

The pair have been rivals for years in La Liga, and also clashed in this year’s World Cup when Argentina and Croatia faced off in Group D.

Modric came off the better in that encounter, inspiring a crushing 3-0 victory for Croatia that included a stunning long-range effort from the Real Madrid midfielder.

But Messi showed there were no hard feelings as he picked the World Cup finalist and The Best winner as his top player of 2018.

Kylian Mbappe, another player who made Messi and Argentina suffer in Russia, was Messi’s second choice, with Cristiano Ronaldo taking third.

It was also the first time Messi picked Ronaldo in his top three.

Since he has been able to vote as captain of Argentina, from 2011, Messi has always chosen someone from either his home nation or Barcelona, and in several years both.

Among the coaches, interim Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni plumped for Messi, while Brazil’s Tite overlooked local hero Neymar in favour of Modric, Mohamed Salah and Ronaldo.

There were even a couple of nominations for World Cup Golden Boot winner Harry Kane, who won the approval of Bahamas coach Dion Godet and Chinese Taipei’s Gary White, though Kane himself voted for Ronaldo first, Messi second and Premier League rival Kevin De Bruyne third.

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