Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos hailed Luka Modric, saying the midfielder deserved the FIFA Best Men's Player award.
After helping Madrid to the Champions League title and leading Croatia to the World Cup final, Modric claimed the prize ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah on Monday.
As Spain captain, Ramos had a vote for the award and went with Modric as his choice, followed by their ex team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi third.
Following Modric's win, Ramos said the 33-year-old midfielder, who has starred since arriving at Madrid in 2012, was a worthy winner of the award.
"I am as happy as if I had won it," the defender said.
"He deserves it, he is an excellent player and has marked an important era in the history of Real Madrid."
However, Ronaldo and Barcelona star Lionel Messi drew criticism after skipping the awards ceremony on Monday.
Messi was not in the top three for Best Player, while Ronaldo was, though both were named to the FIFPro World XI.
Modric himself voiced disappointment the pair were not present and Ramos joined the chorus of those who believed the superstar duo should have been in attendance.
"It would have been good for Cris and Leo to be here," he said.