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Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo in agreement over world’s best young player

Cristiano Ronaldo and his ex-Real Madrid team-mate, Luka Modric, both voted for the same player to win the 2021 Kopa Trophy, Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood

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Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo both voted for Manchester United ‘s Mason Greenwood to be crowned the world’s best young player and win the 2021 Kopa Trophy.

The pair, formerly Real Madrid team-mates, were selecting the best footballer under the age of 21 at Monday’s Ballon d’Orceremony in Paris.

Ronaldo and Modric backed Greenwood, who scored 12 goals for United last season and netted in the Red Devils’ first three Premier League games this term.

After being introduced in 2018, Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe and Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt were the Kopa’s first two winners, which is voted for by previous Ballon d’Or winners.

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Greenwood was backed by Man Utd team-mate Ronaldo and Real Madrid’s Modric to win the Kopa Trophy

After no award was handed out in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Barcelona wonderkid Pedri swooped the trophy on Monday.

Ronaldo had hoped Greenwood would be on the podium in Paris, as compatriot Nuno Mendes and Borussia Dortmund ‘s Giovanni Reyna were his two picks in second and third respectively.

Modric, meanwhile, chose Pedri as his runner-up, with England international Jude Bellingham taking the final place on his ballot paper.

The 19-year-old winner has become a regular for Barcelona and Spain over the last 12 months, racking up 73 appearances across the 2020-21 campaign.

Ronaldo, like Old Trafford team-mate Greenwood, did not travel to the ceremony despite finishing sixth in the main event, the Ballon d’Or.

Arch-rival Lionel Messi claimed his seventh golden ball, now two ahead of the Portuguese, who blasted France Football editor Pascal Ferre just hours before the ceremony began.

Ferre had claimed that Ronaldo’s sole career goal was to “retire with more Ballons d’Or than Lionel Messi” when speaking to The New York Times.

“Pascal Ferre lied and used my name to promote himself and to promote the publication that he works for,” the 36-year-old wrote on social media.

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“It’s unacceptable for the person responsible for handing out such a prestigious award to lie in this way and to show disrespect to someone who has always respected France Football and the Ballon d’Or.

“He lied again today to justify my absence from the ceremony due to an alleged quarantine that has no reason to exist.

“I always congratulate whoever wins, in tandem with the sportsmanship and fair play that have underpinned my career since the start and I do that because I’m never against anyone.

“I always win for myself and for the clubs that I represent. I win for myself and for those who love me. I don’t win against anyone.”

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