Croatian and Madrid star Modric bags Fifa Best Player Award

Croatian and Madrid star Modric bags Fifa Best Player Award

Croatian and Real Madrid star midfielder was on Monday night named Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year for 2018, while Orlando Pride’s Brazil forward Marta won the women’s award.

Modric won the Champions League with Real and then played a major role in Croatia’s run to the World Cup final where they were beaten by France.

Speaking after he was bestowed with his award, the smiling Modric said: “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.”

His national team head coach Zlatko Dalic said: ““Luka Modric is the captain of my team, he’s the best player in my team and also in the world. He’ll deserve this award.

“He’s a very good man, a serious guy, a professional guy. He’s like my assistant in the field and I really appreciate Luka Modric for everything this guy did this year and he deserves everything.”

Germany manager Joachim Low speaking to BBC Sport before the awards were announced: “All the players who are nominated are very, very good. For me, this time Luka Modric was the best player in the last months.

“He was the leader in this amazing Croatian team. They reached the final [in the World Cup] nobody expected that.

“He did a great job and was really professional for Real Madrid. He was playing all the time at a high level. I would say this time he was the best.”

It is the first time since Brazilian Kaka’s triumph in 2007 that the men’s prize was not won by either Cristiano Ronaldo or Barcelona’s Argentina forward Lionel Messi — neither of whom attended the ceremony at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Portugal international Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the close season, was second in this year’s awards with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in third place.

It is the first time since Brazilian Kaka’s triumph in 2007 that the men’s prize was not won by either Cristiano Ronaldo or Barcelona’s Argentina forward Lionel Messi — neither of whom attended the ceremony at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Portugal international Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the close season, was second in this year’s awards with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in third place.

The 32-year-old Marta, whose Orlando Pride team reached the U.S. National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) playoff semi-finals, had won the previous FIFA Women’s Player of the Year award five times, most recently in 2010.

The Brazilian, who led her country to the Copa America title in April, beat Olympique Lyonnais pair Ada Hegerberg of Norway and Dzsenifer Marozsan of Germany to the award.

France’s World Cup-winning manager Didier Deschamps took the Men’s Coach of the Year award, with compatriot Reynald Pedros claiming the women’s award after winning the Champions League with Lyon.

Voting for the player and coach categories was conducted by national team captains and managers, selected journalists and, for the first time, an online poll of fans.

Real Madrid’s Belgium international Thibaut Courtois won the Goalkeeper of the Year Award.

Salah’s goal for Liverpool against Merseyside rivals Everton in the Premier League won the Goal of the Year, which is voted for by fans, ahead of Gareth Bale’s spectacular overhead kick for Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

Peru’s supporters won the FIFA Fan Award and German Lennart Thy, who plays for Turkish club BB Erzurumspor, won the FIFA Fair Play Award after donating stem cells to help a leukaemia patient.

Courtesy- BBC & Reuters