Sports

Modric ends Ronaldo-Messi era to be crowned world's best

Modric ends Ronaldo-Messi era to be crowned world's best

A 10-strong shortlist has been trimmed down to just three following a vote split evenly between fans, journalists, national team coaches and captains.

After being named UEFA Player of the Year last month, Modrić was the favourite to win the award after an outstanding year which saw him help Real Madrid to win the Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup and also captain Croatia to their first ever FIFA World Cup final.

Both Messi and Ronaldo have won FIFA's award in different guises five times each, and the Portuguese can move out on his own after winning a third straight Champions League title with Real Madrid before heading for pastures new with Juventus in July.

Messi, meanwhile, will not travel to London due to family reasons, according to reports in the Spanish press.

The Croatian was already crowned UEFA Player of the Year last month and ha now also lifted the prestigious Federation Internationale de Football Association award.

After Gianluigi Buffon picked up the inaugural The Best FIFA Goalkeeper Award at last year's ceremony, Thibaut Courtois was crowned his replacement after the now Real Madrid man's outstanding year with Chelsea and stunning performances at Russian Federation 2018.

France Football magazine chief editor Pascal Ferre poses with the Golden Ball during a interview with The Associated Press
France Football magazine chief editor Pascal Ferre poses with the Golden Ball during a interview with The Associated Press

Barcelona travel to Leganes for a La Liga match on Wednesday evening, while Juventus are also in action as they welcome Bologna to Allianz Stadium.

He beat his long-standing teammate Ronaldo and Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah to the prestigious award, while last year's runner-up Messi finished outside the top three for the first time since 2006.

It's surprising that while two Chelsea players were included, record-breaking Premier League champions Manchester City's players were omitted.

"First of all, I would like to give congratulations to Mohamed [Salah] and Cristiano [Ronaldo] for the great season that they've had and I'm sure in the future they will have another opportunity to fight for this trophy".

There was no spot for Mo Salah. She also scored 13 goals as Orlando Pride reached the NWSL playoffs.

Meanwhile, Belgium's Thibaut Courtois added the Federation Internationale de Football Association goalkeeper award to the Golden Glove he collected in Russia for helping his side to third place with three clean sheets.


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