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Modric Wins FIFA’s ‘The Best’ Award: Reaction And Roundup

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The Best FIFA Football Awards - Show Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

The Best Fifa Football Awards concluded Monday night with Luka Modric coming away as the men’s player of the year. I’m not big on these awards, nor do I like getting into the debate one way or another. A lot of these choices for a lot of these awards (in a general sense, not linked to Luka here), are completely unjustifiable, or at the very least, lack clarity on the criteria. This is always going to be subjective, as the voting showed us; but this goes back to the shortlists for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year earlier, when somehow an alien like Jan Oblak didn’t get a sniff in the goalkeeper category. I’m also not entirely sure how the freak goals from Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, in high-stake matches, where they met a ball from the sky the same way Thor strikes thunder when his hammer lands in his hands, take a backseat to Salah’s far-post curler.

But hey — we’re here and we love Luka Modric. He was tremendous this year, and he deserves his daps.

Sergio Ramos’s Reaction

Ramos, who voted for Modric, Ronaldo, and Salah, said: “I am as happy as if I had won it,”

”He deserves it,” Ramos said. “He is an excellent player and has marked an important era in the history of Real Madrid.”

No Cristiano, no Lionel

The other two players in Ramos’s shortlist, Messi and Ronaldo, were not in attendance, which is always going to be overblown — but you knew it was going to be a talking point throughout the night.

“It would have been good for Cris and Leo to be here,” Sergio Ramos said.

“Everyone has their own reasons,” Modric said when asked about the absence of Ronaldo and Messi.

”Obviously, I would have liked them to be here but they aren’t.”

Modric said he hadn’t heard from Ronaldo yet. (I mean, maybe the journalists could give him time to process the award and check his phone, etc.) “He sent me a message the day of the UEFA prize but nothing yet,” Modric said. “I don’t have my phone with me now so maybe he has [sent a message].”

No arguments, just gratitude

“I don’t want to enter into the debate of whether it is deserved or not,” Modric said.

”I just want to thank all the people that voted for me for their support and continue as I have until now.”

“I am so proud and honoured. It’s a special night for me and a special moment in my career. This is a day to enjoy,” Modric added.

“There are so many great players, to win it before all of them, it makes you feel proud that your work is paying off. All of my dreams have come true.

”This recognition that I am receiving from my colleagues, coaches, journalists, fans, from all over the world, this is the most important.

”There is no price for this. These awards come from the work you put in every day, but this recognition that I am receiving is something really special and I am thankful to everyone who is there behind me and supporting me.”