Luka Modric has hit out at Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone, accusing him of having "a constant need to undermine Real Madrid".
Modric capped a superb year by winning the Ballon d'Or this month, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the prize since 2007.
The results of the voting for France Football's prize prompted criticism from some key figures in the game, including Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba and Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.
Simeone, meanwhile, said Atletico forward Antoine Griezmann or Madrid and France centre-back Raphael Varane should have won the award.
Modric insists he is not disappointed to hear coaches and players disagree with the result, but he does take exception to what he considers to be consistent attempts by Simeone to cast aspersions on Madrid.
"It's really okay that Simeone thinks his player to be better, but he has a constant need to undermine Real Madrid and their players," Modric told Sportske Novosti. "He takes every opportunity to insinuate unrealistic actions that would explain Real's achievements at the expense of others.
"I have great respect for Diego Simeone and everything he has won with Atletico, just as I have great respect for the players, the fans and the great club.
"It's not fair that our successes, among which are two honourable Champions League victories against Atletico, are reduced to his constant theories about some kind of favours towards Real."
Modric also talked up the unity within the Madrid squad, after Ronaldo, who left for Juve in a €112million deal before the start of the season, claimed his new club has far more of a family atmosphere.
"I shared six beautiful seasons with Ronaldo, probably the best years of my career, and we've done so much together," said Modric.
"My personal view is that staying for nine years at Real is significant in terms of how he felt at this fantastic club. Among other things, he won four Ballons d'Or. You can't achieve this if you are not at peace in the environment.
"I've been here for six and a half years and I can say with certainty that we are a good group, with mature people and quality players, good relationships and an excellent atmosphere.
"Of course, there are better and worse days, but the core strength of the group can't be questioned. If it were, we would not win all of these trophies, either team or individual ones."