Luka Modric ended Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s decade-long domination of football’s individual awards by being crowned FIFA’s best player of the year on Monday. The Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder starred for both club and country as Madrid won a third straight Champions League, and he inspired Croatia to reach the World Cup final for the first time.
“The emotion is huge because it is thanks to the work of everyone. So many people have come together and so many have supported me,” said Modric.
Modric beat out Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah and Ronaldo, who along with Messi did not attend the glitzy awards ceremony in London. Both are in action for Juventus and Barcelona on Wednesday, but their no-show attracted criticism after so many years on top.