Luka Modric says there is no need to "crucify" Kylian Mbappe over his decision to snub Real Madrid and stay at Paris Saint-Germain.
Mbappe appeared destined to leave PSG in a free transfer and join the European and Spanish champions, but he instead signed a new contract with the French side that keeps him tied to the club until 2025.
The news infuriated many in Spain, as Liga president Javier Tebas denounced Mbappe's contract extension as "an insult to football" and filed a complaint to UEFA about PSG.
What did Modric say about Mbappe?
Modric remained diplomatic about the 23-year-old's decision to snub Madrid and says the club can thrive without him.
"Mbappe decided as he decided, that is his right and now he lives with that decision. It goes on," he told Sportske.
"We all thought he would come to us, it didn't happen and - now what? Well, we're not going to crucify the man.
"Mbappe is a great player, but as I always repeat, in any context, no player is more important than the club. Real is the greatest, above every player and it will always be like that.
"Who knows what can happen tomorrow, let alone in three or four years in football? Only time will tell."
Modric satisfied with Madrid success
Madrid are looking to build on their Champions League and La Liga success last season.
Carlo Ancelotti returned to Santiago Bernabeu to guide the capital club to the two titles and Modric credited the coach's "calmness and stability" as crucial factors in their 2021-22 season.
"In La Liga, we got off to a particularly good start from the very beginning," he said.
"A new old coach arrived, Carlo Ancelotti, who found a lot of players from his first era at Madrid. This made it easier to adapt to the new course, after all the great years with Zinedine Zidane.
"Ancelotti brought some new calmness, stability and created an environment of mutual trust and faith in one's strengths.
"It wasn't strange to me, because as much as some tried to belittle the strength of this group of players, I was personally convinced that we still have a top team.
"Things came together for us, we made a strong run and by the end we deservedly and dominantly won the 35th title, my third."