THE BEST FIFA MEN’S PLAYER
For the first time, there is a new name on The Best FIFA Men’s Player trophy, with Luka Modric succeeding the winner of the inaugural two awards – Cristiano Ronaldo – after a superlative 2017/18 that saw the Croatian midfield maestro reach new heights.
It has taken something outstanding to break the duopoly of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at the pinnacle of the men’s game, and Modric’s season has undoubtedly warranted the landmark. Awarded the adidas Golden Ball at the FIFA Club World Cup before playing an integral role in Real Madrid’s third consecutive UEFA Champions League trophy
THE BEST FIFA MEN’S COACH
Reaching the pinnacle of one career is quite something, but to start afresh and reach the very top in an entirely different profession is a truly remarkable feat. Didier Deschamps has increased an elite group of two (Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer) by one, to become the third man to win the FIFA World Cup™ as a player and then a coach.
FIFA PUSKÁS AWARD
With snow falling to set a dramatic scene in a game which needs no extra theatre, Mo Salah conjured a moment of artistic brilliance that would have looked at home on the finest of stages. The ‘Egyptian King’, as he has been dubbed by the Liverpool faithful, controlled the ball exquisitely after receiving a pass on the Reds’ right from Joe Gomez and immediately wriggled free of Cuco Martina – spinning clear of his marker before dribbling into the penalty area. Then came the moment that stole the show, a curling left-footed shot that finished high inside the far corner of Jordan Pickford’s net. The goal was not just aesthetically pleasing, but hugely important, helping the red half of Merseyside claim a point in a 1-1 draw against their bitter rivals. Fans from around the world had their say and chose Salah’s superb effort as the winner of the 2018 FIFA Puskás Award, with the Egyptian victorious having garnered 38 per cent of the vote.
THE BEST FIFA GOALKEEPER
When it comes to mere presence between the sticks, there are few goalkeepers who can match Thibaut Courtois imposing frame. But there is more to the 1.99m Belgian shot stopper than his physical attributes. His ability to command a penalty area is perhaps taken for granted given his height, but the now Real Madrid man’s penchant for gravity-defying saves – particularly in positions that are not easy to reach for a man of his height – is something that is most impressive.