STORY: Germany’s former World Cup-winning captain Lothar Matthaus on Wednesday (December 05) hailed Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric on winning the prestigious Ballon d’Or.
Matthaus made the comments during a Bundesliga promotion tour in India’s western Mumbai city. He said Modric was a leader but his contribution is different from that of 2017 winner Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
Modric, 33, helped Real Madrid win a third successive Champions League title in May and also captained Croatia to their first World Cup final, being named player of the tournament despite his side losing 4-2 to France.
Juventus forward Ronaldo came second, while Atletico Madrid and France striker Antoine Griezmann came third. Paris St Germain’s France forward Kylian Mbappe, who also collected the Kopa award for the best under-21 player, was fourth, with Barca forward Messi finishing fifth.
Matthaus said Bayern Munich should throw their support behind coach Niko Kovac despite reportedly growing opposition in the changing room of success-spoilt Bayern, who have won the last six league titles.
He said Bayern were losing their edge and motivation and suggested them to bring in new players to revive the embattled champions.
Bayern Munich are currently fourth in the Bundesliga and nine points away from leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Matthaus also gave his backing to use of Video Assistant Refereeing, saying it makes football ‘fair’.
The top leagues in Spain, Italy and Germany are using VAR, which allows disputed incidents to be reviewed with the use of video replays, and the technology was used at the World Cup in Russia this year.
The VAR system uses a match official who monitors video footage of the game for incidents that the on-pitch referee and his assistant referees might have missed, such as determining goals, red cards, penalties and cases of mistaken identity.