Luka Modric, who won the Ballon d'Or in 2018 when both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi snubbed the ceremony, has hit out at the Portuguese superstar and the other absentees from this year's gala.
Click through the gallery above to see some images of Modric handing Messi the 2019 Golden Ball.
The Croatian midfielder ended Messi and Ronaldo's 10-year Ballon d'Or reign when he beat his former Los Blancos teammate to the award in 2018, with Messi finishing in fifth spot.
As a consequence, he handed the Golden Ball over to this year's winner Messi, who happily claimed his record-breaking sixth award.
Ronaldo, though, was not present at the ceremony in Paris, while Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane also snubbed the gala, and Modric could not hide his disappointment afterwards.
"I'm happy to be here. I think football is about respect and when you don't win, out of respect, you have to be here as it is a celebration of football," he said, as quoted by AS.
The Real star, however, was full of praise for Messi after the Argentine became the first player in history to win the Golden Ball a sixth time.
"It's something incredible when you see all the Ballon d'Ors there," Modric added.
"It doesn't seem real, it just shows that he is an incredible player and that he is one of the best players of all time.
"Fair play for all he has done, and well done."
Ronaldo's absence has since been explained, with the 34-year-old attending the Serie A awards gala, where he picked up two accolades himself, on the same night.
Do you agree with Modric that it is disrespectful to snub these awards? Have your say in the comments section below.