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Modric beats Ronaldo, Salah to FIFA best player award

Croatian won Champions League with Real Madrid and guided Croatia to the World Cup final.

Luka Modric

Luka Modric broke a decade of award dominance by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi after being crowned world footballer of the year by FIFA, while Marta won the women's award for a sixth time.

Modric was voted FIFA's best player in the 2017-18 season at the Best Fifa Football Awards in London on Monday. 

He won the Champions League for a fourth time in five seasons with Real Madrid and led Croatia to its first World Cup final where it lost to France.

Messi and Ronaldo were the only winners of world football's main individual award from FIFA in various guises since 2008, both winning five titles each.

Messi didn't make the three-man shortlist and skipped the trip to London. 

As a new dawn in FIFA's awards history broke inside London's Royal Festival Hall, Ronaldo also didn't turn up at the ceremony to be dethroned in person by his former Real Madrid teammate despite being in the final three alongside Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.

Ronaldo, who left Madrid in the offseason to join Italian champion Juventus, was knocked out of the World Cup in the round of 16 with European champion Portugal.

Salah scored a record 32 goals in a 38-game English Premier League and helped Liverpool reach its first Champions League final in 11 years.

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

The 32-year-old Marta, whose Orlando Pride team reached the US National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) playoff semi-finals, had won the previous FIFA Women's Player of the Year award five times, most recently in 2010. She scored 13 goals for the Pride and contributed six assists last season.

The Brazilian, who led her country to the Copa America title in April, beat Olympique Lyonnais pair Ada Hegerberg of Norway and Dzsenifer Marozsan of Germany to the award.

"It was worth all the sacrifices," the striker said.

Team of the year

Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Spain, Manchester United)

Defenders: Dani Alves (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain), Raphael Varane (France, Real Madrid). Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid).

Midfielders: Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid), N'Golo Kante (France, Chelsea), Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea).

Forwards: Kylian Mbappe (France, Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid/currently Juventus)


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