Real Madrid and Croatia star Luka Modric revealed Cristiano Ronaldo congratulated him and said he deserved his UEFA Player of the Year award.
Modric, 32, was awarded the honour ahead of his former Madrid team-mate, who skipped the ceremony, and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah late last month.
But the classy midfielder said he had received congratulations from Ronaldo, adding that the Juventus star told him he deserved the prize.
"I am happy to be in another big award final [Best FIFA Men's Player], we'll see what will happen," Modric told RTP3 after Croatia played out a 1-1 friendly draw with Portugal on Thursday.
"I have a good relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo and we'll have a good relationship in the future too. Individual awards are important but I'm not obsessed with them.
"Cristiano sent me a message, congratulated me and told me he is happy for me and I deserved it. He also said he can't wait to meet me again."
Ronaldo and Modric helped Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title last season, while the latter also guided Croatia to the World Cup final.