A kiss for his wife and a hug with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino: Luka Modric, the great triumphator of the World Cup year, has ended a world footballer era. After winning five titles each for Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the Croatian runners-up became the first other star since 2007 to be honoured with the most coveted individual award of his sport.
The 33-year-old from Real Madrid, who this summer had already been named best player of the World Cup and European Footballer of the Year, won the FIFA Gala in London quite clearly with 29.05 percent of the votes against the once again brilliant Portuguese Ronaldo (19.08 percent) and the Egyptian Mohamed Salah (11.23).
“It was an incredible season, the best season of my life. I am very proud. I will remember it all my life,” Modric said in the FIFA interview before the decision on the green carpet. His World Cup skills surpassed Ronaldo’s 15 goals on the way to their third consecutive royal triumph.
“This success should also be an inspiration for the next generation that you can achieve anything with hard work,” said Modrid in his acceptance speech in English, Spanish and Croatian. He was motivated by the team that finished third in the 1998 World Cup.
In Croatia the honour was commented with great joy. “The world once again bowed to the Croatian maestro“, wrote the newspaper portal “Jutarnji list“. The portal “Dnevnik” titled: “A historic moment: Modiric voted the world’s best footballer” and the country’s biggest newspaper “24sata” said: “Bravo, captain!”
Messi, who had won the title with Ronaldo over the past ten years, was fifth (9.81) and did not make it into the Top 3 for the first time since 2006. A German player was not in the Top 10 after the debacle at the World Cup, which Ronaldo and Messi could not influence as desired.
In four of the past five years, glamour soccer player Ronaldo had been awarded the prestigious world soccer trophy. Now he missed the world footballer hat-trick again, which so far only Messi had managed. Three and a half weeks after his defeat in the election of Europe’s best, Ronaldo could only have congratulated Modric at the Royal Festival Hall in front of national coach Joachim Löw and national team manager Oliver Bierhoff. As in Monaco, he stayed away from honoring his long-time team-mate. For scheduling reasons, as his new club Juventus Turin announced.
Not the king class super goal scorer Ronaldo or the Premier League goal scorer king Salah of FC Liverpool, who was awarded for the most beautiful goal of the season, stand at the top of the individual talents in world football, but a midfield strategist. “Modric steers the game. When he makes a decision, it’s the right decision,” praised the 1992 world footballer, Dutchman Marco van Basten.
“The former Brazilian world champion coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said that “soul and heart” are a team of players like Modric. For Bayern coach Niko Kovac, the honouring of the compatriot is simply “fantastic“.
With 31 and 33 years the time of Messi and Ronaldo is not over yet. But the London evening indicated that a new era could begin. But then also without the 33-year-old Modric.
Modric, who won the Champions League three times in a row and a total of four times with Real, had led the Croats into the final at their furious World Cup appearance. France around 19-year-old Kylian Mbappé, a candidate for future world footballer merits, was then a number too big at 2-4.
Zlatko Dalic Honours
- Croatian Cup runner-up: 2005–06
Albanian Supercup: 2008
- Saudi Crown Prince Cup: 2012–13
- Saudi Professional League runner-up: 2012–13
- UAE President’s Cup: 2013–14
- UAE Pro-League: 2014–15
- UAE Super Cup: 2015
- AFC Champions League runner-up: 2016
- FIFA World Cup runner-up: 2018
Didier Deschamps was honoured as the coach of the French World Coach of the Year. He prevailed against Croatia’s national coach Zlatko Dalic and former Real coach Zinedine Zidane.
“The World Cup naturally plays an important role in the election,” said DFB captain Manuel Neuer. Surprisingly, however, no French world champion made it into the top three. Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane made it into the Top 10 after all. In the best eleven of the year there were three world champions in Raphael Varane, N’Golo Kanté and Mbappe – but not a single German professional.
Dzsenifer Marozsan (Olympique Lyon) was the only German nominee for the World Player of the Year award in Great Britain’s metropolis to miss a surprise at the sixth success of Brazilian Marta (Orlando Pride). The Belgian Thibaut Courtois became the world goalkeeper. The former professional of Werder Bremen and FC St. Pauli, Lennart Thy, was awarded the Fair Play Award for his work as a stem cell donor for a cancer patient. Toals is one of the oldest online casino gaming site and it is definitely legit one.