The 33-year-old Modric won the Champions League for the third time in a row with his club, Real Madrid, in May before leading Croatia to the 2018 World Cup final, where they lost 4-2 to France. He is the first player other than Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi to win the Fifa award since Kaká in 2007. Luka Modric has been named the Fifa men’s footballer of the year at a ceremony in London, with Brazil’s Marta crowned the world’s best female player.
“It’s a great honour and a beautiful feeling to stand here with this amazing trophy,” Modric said.
“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,” he added. “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.”
Modric won the award, officially called The Best Fifa Men’s Player, ahead of his former Real Madrid teammate Ronaldo, with the Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah third. France’s Kylian Mbappé finished fourth with Lionel Messi in fifth place. The Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane finished 10th in the vote.
Marta was named the Fifa women’s player of the year for the sixth time but the first time since 2010. The 32-year-old currently plays for the US side Orlando Pride and beat Olympique Lyonnais pair Ada Hegerberg and Dzsenifer Marozsán.
“This means so much but it is not only about me. It is about my team-mates and women’s football,” Marta said at the ceremony. “Most importantly, it is good to see women’s soccer grow each year. If I keep doing well and that can help off the field too, then I am happy.”
Salah won the Puskás award for the year’s best goal, for his strike against Everton in December, while France’s Didier Deschamps was named coach of the year at the Royal Festival Hall.
“We all know that being a coach, alone we can’t do anything,” Deschamps said. “We are nothing without our players and I want to thank my whole team who worked to get me here and get me this trophy tonight.”
The Best: Fifa’s 2018 award winners
Men’s player: Luka Modric (Croatia)
Women’s player: Marta (Brazil)
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois (Belgium)
Men’s coach: Didier Deschamps (France)
Women’s coach: Reynald Pedros (Lyon)
Puskás award (best goal): Mohamed Salah (v Everton, Dec 2017)
Fan award: Peru (World Cup 2018)
Fair play award: Lennart Thy
The German forward missed an Eredivisie game for VVV-Venlo in order to donate stem cells to a leukaemia patient
Modric takes men’s award
The Champions League winner and World Cup finalist took 29% of the vote, which is made up of captains, managers and journalists from all of Fifa’s member countries.
1. Luka Modric (Croatia)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
3. Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
4. Kylian Mbappé (France)
5. Lionel Messi (Argentina)
The Brazilian won for the sixth time with almost 15% of the vote, while six of the top 10 – including England full-back Lucy Bronze – play for Champions League winners Lyon.
1. Marta (Brazil)
2. Dzsenifer Marozsán (Germany)
3. Ada Hegerberg (Norway)
4. Megan Rapinoe (USA)
5. Pernille Harder (Denmark)
GK David de Gea
RB Dani Alves
CB Raphaël Varane
CB Sergio Ramos
CM N’Golo Kanté
CM Luka Modric
AM Eden Hazard
RW Lionel Messi
CF Cristiano Ronaldo
LW Kylian Mbappé