Croatian and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric on Monday night pipped Liverpool’s talisman Mohammad Salah and Ronaldo to win the 2018 FIFA Best Player of the Year Award.
The Real Madrid midfielder won the Best FIFA Men’s Player award for guiding Croatia to the World Cup final and winning a third consecutive Champions League trophy with Real Madrid.
Modric won his fourth Champions League title with Real Madrid in May, before leading his country to a World Cup final in July and being crowned UEFA Men’s Player of the Year last month.
The Best Men’s Player of the Year award, formerly named the Fifa World Player of the Year, has long been dominated by both Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but Barcelona forward Messi failed to make the shortlist for this year’s award for the first time since 2006.
Modric became the first player other than Ronaldo and Messi to lift FIFA’s Best Men’s Player award since Ricardo Kaka won it in 2007, ending the 10-year reign of the superstar duo.
Modric added: “This trophy is not just mine, it’s for all my Real Madrid team-mates, for all my team-mates from the Croatia national team, for all the coaches that I have played for.
“Without them, this would not be possible and thank you a lot to them.
“This trophy is also for my family, without whom I would not be the player and person that I am. They are my ‘the best’.”
“At this particular moment, I would like to mention my footballing idol [Zvonimir Boban] and captain of Croatia generation 1998 and their first participation [at the World Cup finals as Croatia] and bronze in France,” Modric said.
“He was my big inspiration and that team gave us belief that we could achieve something great in Russia. Hopefully we can be the same for next generations.
“This award shows that we all can become the best with hard work, dedication and belief. All dreams can come true.”