Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric named world's best player

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric is the Fifa Best Player of 2018. He was announced the winner in London. /COURTESY

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric is the Fifa Best Player of 2018. He was announced the winner in London. /COURTESY

Messi was a controversial absentee from the Best Men's Player nominations, with Luka Modric scooping the top prize ahead of Ronaldo and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.

The Real Madrid midfielder, 33, beat former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, now with Juventus, and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah to the award. There will be a total of nine categories including the best manager and the best goalkeeper awards. This trophy is not just mine but for all my teammates from Real Madrid, my Croatia national teammates, my coaches and my family.

'It was the best season of my life, I'm very happy to be here tonight, ' Modric said on the red carpet. I would like to also thank those who voted for more.

Ronaldo and Messi had won every FIFA World Player of the Year award, which was renamed the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010 and The Best in 2016, since 2007 when Kaka was victorious.

The FIFA Puskás Award is an award established on 20 October 2009 at the behest of then-president Sepp Blatter, in order to award the player, male or female, judged to have scored the most aesthetically significant, or "most beautiful", goal of the year.

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PSG forward Kylian Mbappe won the FIFA Young Player Award for his excellent performances at the 2018 World Cup. The event took place in London on Monday evening.

A number of other awards were handed out on the star-studded night, including the FIFPro World XI side, marking a global All-Star team for the year.

Interestingly Thibaut Courtois - who changed tack and thanked both his current club Real Madrid and former team Chelsea, from whom he left under a slightly dark cloud - won Best Goalkeeper, but was excluded from the overall "dream team".

Though Hegerberg and Marozsan narrowly missed out, their coach Reynald Pedros picked up the Best FIFA Women's Coach award after steering Lyon to the French league and Champions League last season.

Top honors for men and women players and coaches were decided by a process that assigned four equal weights to the votes of fans, media, national team coaches and national team captains.

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