Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has spoken of his three-year feud with Mario Mandzukic following the Croatia striker's retirement last week.
The 35-year-old has been working on a autobiography, My Game, and snippets have resurfaced following the striker's retirement, revealing a clear rift between the player and his Real Madrid team-mate, both important stars for their country in the 2010s.
Modric said: "All this time I have known Mario as a great boy, with a big heart. I loved him from day one, even though it took me a long time to understand [him].
"We spent a lot of time together on the national team. On a visit to Iceland, when we were trying to go to the World Cup in Brazil, I ran into Mandzukic in front of the hotel elevator.
"'Come on Mario, we're going hard today,' I told him, since many times the players cheer each other on in training or before the game.
"Mandzukic, however, surprised me with his reaction: 'Look at yourself, leave me.' It seemed to me that it was a momentary upset.
"I always had a good relationship with Mario. We were in constant contact until then. Then there was silence, the relationship cooled.
"If he had had the wisdom of now, he would have clarified it immediately or, in the worst case, in the next concentration of the national team.
"But I was also defiant. When two difficult people are short-circuited, the energy disappears. Frankly, he was wrong, but he didn't want to take the first step."
The pair are close friends now and the pair reconciled just before the 2018 World World Cup, which saw Croatia reach the final only to lose 4-2 to France out in Russia.