Real Madrid stars Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo have all voiced their disappointment at no Barcelona players attending Monday's Best FIFA Men's Player award ceremony.
Madrid were the big winners on the night in Zurich -- with Ronaldo taking home the Best Player prize, ahead of Barca's Lionel Messi, and the club having five representatives including Modric and Ramos in the FIFA FIFPro World11 2016.
- FIFA.com en español (@fifacom_es) January 9, 2017
Barca also had four players chosen in the official FIFA Team of the Year, but still it was decided that no squad member from the Catalan club would travel to the ceremony in Zurich. Asked about the no show, Modric said at the event that his personal opinion was that they should have made the effort to attend.
"I don't want to get into any controversy, but my opinion is that the Barcelona players should have been here," the Croatia international said.
Ramos said it was "strange" that he was not sharing the moment with Spain teammates Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique, but said they would "have their reasons" for not making the trip.
"It is a bit strange," Ramos said. "Two are my Spain teammates, and my friends. They will have their reasons."
Ronaldo was asked on Spanish radio show El Larguero whether he had received a message of congratulation from his long-time personal rival Messi about the award, and responded that he had always been there to offer congratulations in person when the Argentine had won.
"Are you joking? I don't have his number ...," the Portugal captain said. "I congratulate him when people are there, he was not there today. So it is difficult to congratulate someone when you are not there. When he won other Ballon d'Or awards I congratulated him. But he was not there today."
Ronaldo said he would have liked Messi to have attended the ceremony, and he personally would make sure to show up in future if he is nominated again.
"Not just him, but all the Barca players," Ronaldo said. "I understand they have a big game on Wednesday, but I obviously would have liked them to be there. I always do what the club say I should do. For example I was at the [Ballon d'Or] awards every year. And if I am nominated in the years to come I will be there too."
Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann, who finished third in the voting, had been present even though his club have a Copa del Rey game on Tuesday evening, it was noted.
"Griezmann could have won too, he deserved it for the season he has had, with Atletico and France too," Ronaldo said. "Griezmann was here today, and that was very good."
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said on Tuesday that he backed the decision of his players.