Sergio Ramos insists that Real Madrid team-mate Luka Modric deserved to win the UEFA Player of the Year award ahead of those with "more marketing", such as Cristiano Ronaldo.
Modric's win sparked controversy in Italy, with Ronaldo's representative, Jorge Mendes, blasting the snub as "ridiculous and shameful".
However, Ramos believes that Modric, who played a key role in the club's Champions League victory, deserved the award over the Portuguese.
Indeed, the midfielder's performances at the World Cup seemed to back up UEFA's decision, the ex-Tottenham midfielder guiding his Croatia side to their first ever final, where they lost to France.
Portugal, meanwhile, fell to Uruguay in the Round of 16.
"There are few players that I am as proud of having in my team as [Modric]," said Ramos, per the Daily Mail .
"He is a great friend and a great player. He is one of the few players who [if he wins] would make me as happy as if they had given it to me."
Ramos also appeared to take a dig at Ronaldo in claiming that Modric is more unassuming than the Juve striker, who has yet to score a goal in Serie A.
"Maybe there are players with more marketing, with a bigger name but Modric deserves that award," he added.
Modric has so far appeared in all three of Real's La Liga games thus far, laying on an assist in the 4-1 thumping of Leganes.