As Luka Modric scooped up yet another individual award after his phenomenal on the field exploits in 2018, two characters were notably absent: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Former Real Madrid coach, Fabio Capello, was forthright in his opinion, “Ronaldo and Messi’s absence is disrespectful to their fellow players, to FIFA, and to the football world,” Capello commented to Television Espanola after the FIFA Best ceremony on Monday evening. “Maybe they have won too much have too great a dislike of losing. In life, you have to know how to win and lose.”
Luka Modric is the first winner of an individual accolade since Kaka in 2007, over a decade of dominance from Messi and Ronaldo. Juventus and Ronaldo have cited sporting reasons for their absence, but one can imagine another leak likely made it’s way to the Ronaldo camp and the player opted not to appear. A reunion with Zidane and his former Madrid teammates was not enough enticing for the Portuguese to make an appearance. The question will arise, if one of the two superstars are to win next year, will they show?