Croatia's incredible 2018 FIFA World Cup journey ultimately ended in disappointment as they were beaten 4-2 by France in the final.
Having endured gruelling extra-time periods in each of their three prior knockout games, including two penalty shootouts, the last hurdle proved too high.
That said, for such a small nation to perform as brilliantly as they did in Russia warrants a tremendous amount of credit, and their star men led the way.
Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic scored both in the win over England and the loss to France, but it was Croatia's maestros who had the biggest influence.
We're, of course, talking about Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, and the latter reserved a beautiful tweet just for his midfield partner following the match.
Modric and Rakitic
The world-class duo come together to magnificent effect for Croatia, and between them, they registered three goals and one assist at this World Cup.
What really shone through was Real Madrid star Modric's technique and ability to dictate the tempo of Croatia's matches on the biggest stage.
Rakitic's message to Modric
Shortly after the final, the 32-year-old deservedly won the Golden Ball for best player of the tournament and Rakitic had a message for his captain.
Reflecting a few hours on from the defeat in Moscow, the Barcelona man took to Twitter on Sunday night to send heartfelt praise to Modric and Croatians worldwide.
As you can see below, Rakitic shared a lovely picture to his 1.13 million followers of himself with Modric, holding the Golden Ball award together.
The 30-year-old's tweet, translated into English, reads: "My brother Luka Modric, you do not know how proud I am of you!
"(Your Golden Ball is) well deserved, let's celebrate with our family and all the Croatians! Nothing more beautiful than Croatia!"
In addition to emojis of love and friendship directed Modric's way, Rakitic ended the tweet with the hashtags "Croats, above all" and "Be proud".
The pair are fierce rivals in club football, with Rakitic playing for La Liga winners Barca and Modric at Champions League holders Madrid.
With the new season just weeks away, it won't be long before the midfielders are back on opposing sides in Spain, so Rakitic's classy tweet should be treasured.
What are YOUR thoughts on Rakitic's tweet to Modric? Do YOU think he was the best player at the 2018 World Cup? Leave YOUR opinion in the comments box below!
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