Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been pipped by his former Real Madrid teammate to win the FIFA men’s player of the year award on Monday.
Croatian captain Luka Modric was given the prestigious award ahead of Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. This is the second big individual trophy Modric has won after being given the Golden Ball at the recently concluded FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.
Modric was an integral part of Real Madrid’s campaign to win the UEFA Champions League trophy for the third time in a row. Furthermore, he guided his country to an exceptional FIFA World Cup campaign where they finished as runners-up to champions France.
“The emotion is huge because it is thanks to the work of everyone. So many people have come together and so many have supported me. It was an unbelievable season, the best season in my life. I’m still not realising how good a year I had collectively, individually, and I’m very proud for everything I achieved this year and it will be remembered forever.” Modric spoke after receiving the award.
One of the biggest names in the footballing world Lionel Messi was missing from this event as he wasn’t nominated for any of the individual awards.
Liverpool’s cerebral winger Mohamed Salah, won the Puskas award, which is given to best goal scored by a player that year.
On the same night, FIFPro team of the year was also announced, which saw UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid having the most number of players.
Modric’s inclusion in that team was axiomatic, and he was joined by teammates Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Marcelo. David de Gea, Dani Alves, N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were the other seven players.
“I am as happy as if I had won it. He deserves it, he is an excellent player and has marked an important era in the history of Real Madrid.” said Sergio Ramos for Modric who is also captain of the Spanish club.
Former Chelsea and current Real Madrid player Thibaut Courtois was also given the award for the best goalkeeper of the year for the heroics he displayed in the FIFA World Cup 2018.