Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric has been named the Best Men’s Player at The Best FIFA Football Awards on Monday evening, fighting off competition from fellow nominees Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah.
The award caps off an incredible year for Modric, who won his fourth Champions League title with Real Madrid in May, before leading his country to a World Cup final in July and being crowned UEFA Men’s Player of the Year last month, Goal.com reports.
The Best Men’s Player of the Year award, formerly named the Fifa World Player of the Year, has long been dominated by both Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but Barcelona forward Messi failed to make the shortlist for this year’s award for the first time since 2006. Neither player was present in London on Monday.
Modric’s other accolades from last season include him being awarded the Golden Ball for his performances during the 2017 Club World Cup, whilst the former Spurs man was also included in the Champions League team of the season for a third consecutive year and named the best midfielder in the competition for a second consecutive year.
Modric told BBCSport, “It is a great honour and a beautiful feeling to stand here with this amazing trophy. First of all I would like to congratulate Mohamed and Cristiano.
“I am sure in the future you will have another opportunity to fight for this trophy.
“This award is not just mine. It is my teammates from Real Madrid and Croatia. Without my coaches I would not have won this. Without my family I would not be the player I am today.
“Thanks to my fans for all the great support and love they are showing me. It means a lot. Thanks to those who voted for me.
“I would just like to mention my footballing idol and former 1998 Croatia captain. He was my big inspiration and that team gave us belief we could create something in Russia.
“This award shows that we can all become the best with hard work and dedication. All your dreams can come true.”
Juventus forward Ronaldo had won the two previous Best FIFA awards before this year, but was beaten to this year’s crown by his former Real Madrid team-mate and also missed out of the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award to Modric last month.
The Portugal star was nominated after playing a vital part in a third successive Champions League title for Real Madrid last season. He was top scorer in the competition with 15 goals and netted 44 goals altogether for Los Blancos in 2017-18, before moving to Juventus in a deal worth a reported €100 million (£90m/$118m).
Liverpool star Mohamed Salah was nominated after a remarkable year that saw him score 44 goals in 52 games in his debut season with the Reds, after arriving from Roma in June 2017.
Thibaut Courtois was named Best Keeper of the Year; Marta beats Ada Hegerberg and Dzsenifer Marozsan to women’s award; and France boss Deschamps wins men’s coach award, Lyon’s Reynald Pedros named women’s coach.
Liverpool’s Mo Salah wins Fifa Puskas goal of the year.