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Tuesday 25 Sep 2018 01.54 PM

Modric ends Ronaldo-Messi era to be crowned world's best

Modric, Ronaldo, Messi, World best

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. 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 on Monday. 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.

"Everyone has their own reasons," said Modric. "Obviously I would have liked them to be here but they aren't." Modric's success means Ronaldo remains tied with Messi having won FIFA's award in different guises five times each. At 33, Croatia's run to the final was the culmination of a brilliant career for Modric that had often been overshadowed by Ronaldo's goalscoring in their time together in the Spanish capital, before the Portuguese left for Juventus in July. Modric scored twice and also netted in penalty shootout wins over Denmark and Russia, but it was his playmaking ability that caught the eye in winning the Golden Ball for the best player at the World Cup. PTI

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Tuesday 25 Sep 2018 01.54 PM
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