Modric ends Ronaldo, Messi duopoly as world's best

Jo Caldwell
September 25, 2018

The 33-year-old was a star performer as Croatia reached its first World Cup final and his performance at Russian Federation 2018 saw him win the Golden Ball for the tournament's best player.

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.

Modric was voted FIFA's best player in the 2017-18 season after winning the Champions League for a fourth time in five seasons with Real Madrid and leading Croatia to its first World Cup final where it lost to France.

He beat Ronaldo and Liverpool's Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah to the prize.

There was a great deal of confusion when Salah received the Puskas Award for his effort against Everton.

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It's the first time since 2008 that neither Ronaldo or Lionel Messi has won the award and neither attended the ceremony.

'It is a real pleasure to play with Luka Modric, who is one of the best players in the world right now, ' the Liverpool defender said back in June.

"Maybe they've won too much and have [too great] a dislike of losing".

Debate is guaranteed, particularly after Ronaldo's unannounced absence in Monaco for UEFA's award ceremony - when he discovered that he was not the player of the year.

He has earlier been awarded the UEFA best player of the year beating the duo that accompanied him again for the recent prize he won in London.

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The impending absence of Ronaldo from Monday's gala has further fueled speculation that the 2018 ward is for Modric.

The other players nominated for the award were Denis Cheryshev, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, Riley McGree, Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Lionel Messi, Ricardo Quaresma and Benjamin Pavard.

All three enjoyed great World Cup campaigns, with Courtois helping Belgium to a third-place finish.

"This trophy is also for my family, without whom I would not be the player and person that I am".

"This trophy is not just mine, it's for all my Real Madrid teammates, for all my teammates from the Croatia national team".

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Top honors for men and women players and coaches were decided by a process that assigned four equal weights to the votes of fans, media, national team coaches and national team captains.

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