Wed, Sep 26, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Modric ends Ronaldo-Messi era to be named Best Player

AFP, LONDON

FIFA Men’s Best Player of the Year Luka Modric, left, and FIFA Women’s Best Player of the Year Marta pose with their trophies at the awards ceremony in London on Monday.

Photo: EPA

Luka Modric on Monday ended Cristiano Ronaldo’s and Lionel Messi’s decade-long domination of soccer’s individual awards by being crowned FIFA Men’s Best Player of the Year.

The Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder starred for both club and country as Madrid won a third straight UEFA Champions League and he inspired Croatia to reach the FIFA World Cup final for the first time.

“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,” Modric said.

Modric beat out Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah and Ronaldo, who along with Messi did not attend the glitzy awards ceremony in London.

Both are in action for Juventus and Barcelona today, but their no-show attracted criticism after so many years on top.

“Everyone has their own reasons,” Modric said. “Obviously, I would have liked them to be here, but they aren’t.”

“It was an unbelievable season, the best season in my life,” Modric said.

Salah did not go away empty-handed as he picked up the Puskas award for best goal for his strike against Everton in the Merseyside derby in December last year.

France’s World Cup-winning coach Didier Deschamps won FIFA Best Coach of the Year in recognition for his work in leading Les Bleus to success in Russia.

Brazil’s Marta was crowned FIFA Women’s Best Player of the Year for a record sixth time for her role in winning the Copa America.

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