Luka Modric voted best Fifa men's footballer of the year

Luka Modric voted best Fifa men's footballer of the year

Luka Modric voted best Fifa men's footballer of the year Izvor: Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

Captain of Croatia's national football team Luka Modric (33) was voted best Fifa men's footballer of the year, beating two-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) and Mohamed Salah (Egypt) for the prestigious title.

Modric was awarded the The Best trophy at a ceremony in the Royal Festival Hall in London by Fifa head Gianni Infantino.

"It's a great honour and beautiful feeling to stand here with this trophy. This trophy is not just mine. It is for my Real Madrid team-mates, the Croatia national team and all my coaches. This is also for my family, without who I would not be the player I am," Modric said in his speech.

He also thanked Zvonimir Boban, captain of Croatia's 1998 national team who won bronze in World Cup in France 20 years ago, the best result by a Croatian national team in a World Cup before this year's tournament in Russia, where Croatia reached the finals and ultimately won silver after losing to France 4-2.

Coaches and national teams' captains, journalists, and fans voted in the poll, and for Modric beat the absent Cristiano Ronaldo, his former Real Madrid teammate, and Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah for the award.

After the World Cup in Russia this summer, Modric was crowned best player of the tournament, which made him the all-time best footballer of Croatia. Modric is the first player in 24 years to be presented with both Fifa's The Best award and declared the best player of the World Cup in the same year. The last player to succeed in that was Romario (Brazil) ni 1994.

Modric had also won four Champions League titles with Real Madrid.

The International Football Federation created the award in 1991, and the first winner was Germany's Lothar Matthaus. From 2010 to 2015, the title was presented in partnership with France Football, becoming known as Fifa Ballon d'Or. After the partnership ended in 2015, both reverted back to their original, separate awards.

Modric is only the 15th player to be presented with The Best award. So far the winners have been Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, and Kaka, all from Brazil, Italy's Roberto Baggio and Fabio Cannavaro, Zinedine Zidane from France, Marco van Basten from the Netherlands, and since 2008 until this year the award went to either Cristiano Ronaldo or Argentina's Leo Messi.

Croatia's coach Zlatko Dalic was nominated for best coach of the year, but the trophy went to France's Dider Dechamps who led his national team to World Cup gold in Russia. Former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was also nominated.

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