Luka Modric Beats Ronaldo & Salah to Win FIFA Player of The Year
Luka Modric broke a decade of award dominance by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to be crowned the world footballer of the year by FIFA on Monday.
Brazil’s Marta won the women's award for a sixth time.
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.
Messi and Ronaldo were the only winners of world soccer's main individual award from FIFA in various guises since 2008, both winning five titles each.
Messi didn't make the three-man shortlist and skipped the trip to London. And as a new dawn in FIFA's awards history broke inside London's Royal Festival Hall, Ronaldo also didn't turn up at the ceremony to be dethroned in person by his former Real Madrid teammate despite being in the final three alongside Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.
Ronaldo, who left Madrid in the offseason to join Italian champion Juventus, was knocked out of the World Cup in the round of 16 with European champion Portugal. Salah scored a record 32 goals in a 38-game English Premier League and helped Liverpool reach its first Champions League final in 11 years.
At 1.72 meters (5-foot-8), Modric was doubted early in his career because of his height.
"These things were not a burden, they only further motivated me," Modric said at the World Cup. "You don't have to be a strapping lad to play football."
FIFA Women’s Player of the Year: Marta
Marta won her first FIFA player of the year award since 2010 after leading Brazil to Copa America Femenina glory. She also scored 13 goals as Orlando Pride reached the NWSL playoffs.
She beat Ada Hegerberg, Dzsenifer Marozsan to the top honours.
FIFA World Team of The Year
FIFA’s pick for the World XI of the year did not feature one of the finalists for the ‘Player of the Year’ title, Mo Salah. In fact, despite being named the Goal-keeper of the Year, even Thibaut Courtois was missing from the line-up as well.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Spain, Manchester United)
Defenders: Dani Alves (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain), Raphael Varane (France, Real Madrid). Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid).
Midfielders: Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid), N'Golo Kante (France, Chelsea), Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea).
Forwards: Kylian Mbappe (France, Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid/currently Juventus)
Goal of The Year: Mo Salah
Mo Salah didn't leave the ceremony empty-handed, picking up the Puskas Award for his goal in the Merseyside derby in December 2017.
Salah's goal in Liverpool's 1-1 draw against Everton was a mixture of strength and footwork. Receiving a pass from right back Joe Gomez, Salah shrugged off Cuca Martina, twisted inside Idrissa Gueye, and curled a left-footed shot around Ashley Williams and into the top corner.
FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year: Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois added the FIFA goalkeeper award to the Golden Glove he collected in Russia for helping Belgium to third place with three clean sheets.
The Real Madrid keeper beat Hugo Lloris and Kasper Schmeichel for the big award.
He was handed the trophy Edwin van der Sar.
FIFA Coach of The Year: Didier Deschamps
France’s World Cup-winning coach Deschamps won the top coaching honors after becoming only the third man to win the World Cup as a player and coach.
He beat Zinedine Zidane and Zlatko Dalic to the trophy.