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THE BEST FIFA FOOTBALL AWARDS 2018

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018: Modric wins Best Player

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018: Modric wins Best Player

Dan Istitene

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Luka Modric won The Best FIFA Men's Player prize ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mo Salah, with Marta taking The Best Women's Player.

Luka Modric has been named The Best FIFA Men's Player 2018, beating off fellow finalists Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah to scoop the accolade at Monday's The Best FIFA Football Awards in London.


See also: Who voted for who?


Modric rewarded for starring role for Real Madrid, Croatia

Having been instrumental in Real Madrid's third straight Champions League title last season, and starred in Croatia's run to the World Cup final, the midfielder had been much fancied to succeed former club-mate Ronaldo - who had claimed the prize in its previous two years - as Best Men's Player.

It is the first time since 2007 - when the Ballon d'Or and the former FIFA World Player of the Year award both went to Kaká - that anyone other than Ronaldo or Lionel Messi has received one of the chief individual gongs in men's world football.

The winner of the Golden Ball at Russia 2018, Modric was also named UEFA's 2017/18 Men's Player of the Year a month ago.

Luka Modric of Real Madrid (left) and Marta of Orlando Pride pose with their Best Player trophies.

Marta wins Best Women's Player

France's World Cup-winning boss, Didier Deschamps, was voted Best Men's Coach, while in women's football Brazil legend Marta took the Best Player award, with Lyon's Reynald Pedros chosen as Best Coach.

Belgium's Thibaut Courtois, who joined Real this summer from Chelsea, was declared Best Goalkeeper.

Salah takes Puskas Award, Real dominate World11

Meanwhile, Salah's derby strike against Everton surprisingly saw the Liverpool star clinch the Puskás Award ahead of Ronaldo and Gareth Bale's memorable overhead kicks for Real, a side who dominated the 2018 FIFA FIFPro World11, with five members of last term's team included.

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018: as it happened

  And that's that. "They think it's all over, it is now!" says Elba, channelling his inner Wolstenholme. Thanks for reading!

Croatia legend Zvonimir Boban is in absolute bits as his countryman flexes his multi-lingual muscles with a speech in English, Spanish and a bit of Croatian at the end.

It's Modric!

  Or Luka Modric, who in 2017/18 was the midfield heartbeat of Real Madrid's Champions League and Club World Cup successes, and led Croatia to the World Cup final, winning the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player?

  Will it be Mohamed Salah, who registered a stunning, Messi/Ronaldo-esque debut season at Liverpool that saw him net 44 goals in all competitions as the Reds made the final of the Champions League?

  Will it be Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won the two previous Men's The Best awards, and last term helped Real Madrid to a third successive Champions League title (and the Club World Cup), scoring 44 goals in all competitions?

So, just one gong left: the Best Men's Player.

And Marta takes it! Having been runner-up in 2016, she goes one better this year! "Oh my god," she says as she begins a very tearful speech. Watching on in the audience, countrymen Ronaldo Nazario and Cafu are looking decidely like they've been chopping onions, too.

  And so we come to the Best FIFA Womens's Player. Ada Hegerberg (Norway/Lyon), Dzsenifer Marozsan (Germany/Lyon), Marta (Brazil/ Orlando Pride) are the three finalists.

  Buffon, Kroos, Iniesta, Bonucci (who wasn't shortlisted this time round) and Neymar all drop out of last year's XI. No room for Salah, either.

Ronaldinho (still sporting that dodgy white cap) and Michael Ballack are the men entrusted with presenting the players with their welcome-to-the-world-11 trophies.

  It is: De Gea, Dani Alves, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Kanté, Mbappé, Messi, Hazard, Ronaldo.

 Now for the FIFA FIFPro World11, voted for by 25,000 professional footballers across the globe.

It goes to German footballer Lennart Thy, who last season missed a Dutch league game for VVV so that he could give blood to an acute leukaemia patient.

  We move on to the FIFA Fair Play awar, for which there are no nominations. It is announced on the night.

And Peru's fans take the gong!

  A panel of FIFA legends put together this shortlist of three, with football fans then voting for their choice online.

  It is now time for the FIFA Fan Award. The contenders are: Sebastián Carrera: He travelled 3,000 kilometres to watch CD Puerto Montt to play the Chilean Primera B game at Conquimbo Unido. The image of him sitting alone went viral as the most loyal fan in the world. The Japan and Senegal fans at the World Cup: The supporters of these two countries showed others how it's done when they picked up rubbish after themselves when the final whistle blew in the games they attended. The Peru fans: 40,000 fans travelled to Russia to watch their side play in their first World Cup since 1982.

And here is bewaistcoated Elba next to a decidely bemused-looking Southgate.

Here's Thibaut Courtois accepting his Best Goalkeeper award a few moments ago.

And now it's time for some music from Noel Gallagher, who swiftly gets busy strumming an acoustic version of 'Don't Look Back in Anger'.

  We're treated to a montage of moments that have touched the football world, with nods to figures including Sir Alex Ferguson, who was given such a stirring ovation on his return to Old Trafford at the weekend. The former Manchester United manager underwent surgery for a brain haemorrhage in May.

Here is the aforementioned waistcoat.

  And it goes to Pedros, whose Lyon side won Ligue 1 and the Champions League in 2017/18.

Elba whips off his jacket to reveal a spectacular Gareth Southgate-inspired waistcoat, before tt's time for Best Women's Coach, which the England manager now steps onto the stage to help present. The nominees are: Reynald Pedros (Lyon), Asako Takakura (Japan) and Sarina Wiegman (Holland).

  A reminder that the Best Player, Best Goalkeeper and Best Coach prizes are chosen by an even, 25% split of online voters, journalists, national-team captains and national-team coaches. 

Thibaut Courtois, Hugo Lloris and Kasper Schmeichel are the three finalists. And it goes to... Courtois! 

Straight on to Best Goalkeeper. This is the pace an awards ceremony should be aiming to set. Minimal faffage.

And the winner is... France's World Cup-winning head coach, Didier Deschamps! 

And now, Best Men's Coach. Arsene Wenger to present.

Somewhere in Turin...

Somewhere in Madrid...

  And the winner is... Salah! 

This was the winner last year... Who will succeed Mr Giroud and his scorpion kick? Noel Gallagher and Didier Drogba are on hand to put us out of our misery...

The contenders are: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – Real Madrid-Liverpool. Final Champions League. Denis Cheryshev (Russia) – Russia-Croatia. World Cup (quarter-finals). Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (AEK Athens) – AEK-Olympiacos. Greek league. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – Juventus-Real Madrid. Champions League (quarter-finals) Giorgian de Arrascaeta – Cruzeiro-América. Brazilian league. Riley McGree (Melbourne City) – Newcastle Jets-Melbourne City. Lionel Messi (Argentina) – Argentina-Nigeria. World Cup (Group stage). Benjamin Pavard (France) – France-Argentina. World Cup (quarter-finals)  Ricardo Quaresma (Portugal) – Iran-Portugal. World Cup (Group stage) Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – Liverpool-Everton. Premier League.

  It's time for the first prize: the Puskas Award for the previous season's best goal. It's chosen via an online fans' votre from a 10-goal shortlist, which was compiled by a panel of FIFA legends.

Deschamps is up for Best Men's Coach, together with countryman and holder Zinedine Zidane (who led Real Madrid to a third successive Champions League title in 2017/18 before leaving the Bernabéu dugout) and Zlatko Dalic, who steered Croatia to the World Cup final, where they lost 4-2 to France. 

  Via a VAR gag - the video-assistant referee system gets the 'best newcomer' award - we are treated to a look back at the summer's World Cup in Russia. Winners France have a number of nominees tonight, of course, including coach Didier Deschamps and striker Kylian Mbappé.

Discuss.

  It's time! Sporting a Huddersfield Town scarf, Sir Patrick Stewart gets The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018 underway, before an immediate musical interlude... and here comes Idris Elba!

Real Madrid's Belgian new boy Thibaut Courtois is up for Best Goalkeeper alongside France and Tottenham Hotspur's Hugo Lloris and Leicester City and Denmark's Kasper Schmeichel.

  Chelsea pair N´Golo Kanté and Eden Hazard are both on the 55-man shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World11, which is voted for by 25,000 professional footballers across the world. Hazard appears to be going for the Messi 2013 Ballon d'Or look...

Er...

  As does Salah, who is one of the three finalists after an astonishing, Messi/Ronaldo-esque debut season at Liverpool that saw him net a 44 goals in all competitions as the Reds made the final of the Champions League.

  Modders smiles for the green-carpet cameras. He looks to be the favourite to be named Best Men's Player after helping Real Madrid to Champions League and Club World Cup success in 2017/18, before leading Croatia to the World Cup final and scooping the Golden Ball award as the best player at Russia 2018.

The full list of nominees for shiny The Best baubles is here.

  And (despite what UEFA may think) this OK-ish one:

  Also among the stand-out prizes tonight is the FIFA Puskas Award, given to the scorer of the past season's best goal. The 10-goal shortlist, chosen by a panel of 'FIFA legends', includes this decent enough effort:

We'll also see whether former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane retains his Best Coach award ahead of France's 2018 World Cup-winning manager Didier Deschamps and Croatia's Zlatko Dalic, whose side were runners-up in Russia, and which of Reynald Pedros (Lyon), Asako Takakura (Japan) and Sarina Wiegman (Holland) take the Best Women's Coach prize.

Meanwhile, the Best Women's Player Award is between Ada Hegerberg of Norway and Lyon, Dzsenifer Marozsan of Germany and Lyon, and Marta of Brazil and Orlando Pride.

  Juventus star Ronaldo is, together with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and former Real Madrid team-mate Luka Modric, one of the three finalists for The Best FIFA Men's Player Award - but has opted to stay away from tonight's ceremony. Meanwhile, Messi was the major absentee from the final three nominees, and has confirmed that he is, due to personal reasons, also not attending. With Modric heavily tipped to scoop the Best Men's Player gong, Ronaldo's no-show is perhaps the best indication yet that the Croatia midfielder, who was also presented with the 2017/18 UEFA Men's Player of the Year award ahead of an absent Ronnie in Monaco at the end of August, is in line for the prize.

  The gala's suitably scrubbed-up guests began arriving on the Royal Festival Hall's green carpet about an hour ago, and have been busy posing for the cameras. Oh, Dani.

  The 2018 FIFA FIFPro World11 will also be revealed at the event, whose awards recognise those footballing achievements that took place between 3 July 2017 and 15 July 2018, i.e. during the 2017/18 season (unlike the Ballon d'Or, which, in theory at least, is all about the calendar year just gone).

  Good evening! Welcome to our live coverage of 2018's The Best FIFA Football Awards, which gets underway at London's Royal Festival Hall at about 20:30 CEST. The gala event, which is now in its third year, is to be hosted by actor Idris Elba and journalist Anne Laure Bonnet, with the following shiny gongs to be handed out: Best Men's Player, Best Goalkeeper, Best Men's Coach, Best Women's Player, Best Women's Coach, the FIFA Puskas Award, the FIFA Fan Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award.

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018: preview

Luka Modric is heavily fancied to scoop The Best FIFA Men's Player prize as the great and good of the beautiful game come together for the 2018 The Best FIFA Football Awards at London's Royal Festival Hall tonight.

Modric, Ronaldo and Salah the contenders for Best Men's Player

Modric, who in 2017/18 helped Real Madrid to Champions League and Club World Cup success before leading Croatia to the World Cup final, is up for the gong alongside Portugal captain and former club-mate Cristiano Ronaldo - winner of the accolade in its two previous years - and Liverpool and Egypt's Mohamed Salah.

Eight other award categories...

That's not the only gong due to be handed out at the star-studded event in the UK capital, though; indeed, there are eight further categories: Best Goalkeeper, Best Men's Coach, Best Women's Player, Best Women's Coach, the FIFA Puskas Award, the FIFA Fan Award Award, the FIFA Fair Play Award, the FIFA FifPro World11.

Ceremony kicks off at around 20:30 

Hosted by actor Idris Elba and French journalist Anne Laure Bonnet, the ceremony itself kicks off at around 20:30 CEST, with the first guests arriving on the red - sorry, green - carpet around an hour and a half beforehand.