On Wednesday night, soccer stars including legends, coaches and former coaches in the game of football gathered in London as the world football governing body FIFA awarded the best stars of the game.
Real Madrid midfielder and Croatia captain Luka Modric beat former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to the best male player of the year accolade at the Best FIFA Football Awards.
In May, Modric won his third Champions League trophy in a row before helping Croatia to reach the finals of the World Cup in July in Russia.
Brazil and Orlando Pride forward Marta won the best female player of the award while France’s Didier Deschamps was voted best coach after guiding his side to a World Cup trophy in July when France beat Croatia 4-2 in the finals.
Egyptian star Mohamed Salah received the Puskas award for the best goal, for his sensational strike against Everton in the Merseyside at Anfield in December last year in the Premier League.
Peru supporters won the FIFA fans award for turning out in large numbers to support their national team as it played at the world cup finals for the first time since 1982.
Former France midfielder Reynald Pedros won the Best women’s coach award having taken Lyon to the league and Women's Champions League double in his first season in charge.
Real Madrid goalkeeper and Belgium international Thibaut Courtois was named the best goalkeeper, creating controversy and mixed reactions when Manchester United’s David Dea was named in the FIFA best XI.
Eyebrows were also raised and the credibility of the awards were cast in doubt when Mohamed Salah, one of the three nominees for the male best player’s award was not named in the FIFA Best XI.
FIFA Best XI:
David De Gea, Rafael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Dani Alves, Marcelo, N’golo Kante, Luka Modric, Kylian Mbappe, Leo Messi, Eden Hazard and Cristiano Ronaldo.
By Robert K James