Croatia’s Luka Modric wins Federation Internationale de Football Association best player of the year award

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This is the third year that these awards have been known as "The Best", having previously been a joint venture with France Football's Ballon d'Or between 2010 and 2016, and before that the FIFA World Player of the Year award.

"He was my big inspiration and that team gave us belief that we could achieve something great in Russian Federation".

Legendary Brazilian forward Marta and first-time nominee Reynald Pedros were rewarded as The Best FIFA Women's Player and Women's coach respectively. "It's for all my Real Madrid teammates".

Earlier in the evening, Mohamed Salah's strike in last season's Merseyside derby against Everton at Anfield won the FIFA Puskas Award for the goal of the season.

His World Cup campaign was marked by drama off the pitch. He scored in their opening two matches and also set up one goal.

Modric who guided Croatia to the world cup final for the first time, becomes the first Croatian player to win the award. His father joined the Croatian army, his grandfather was shot by Croatian Serb rebels and his house was burned down, forcing the family to flee to the Adriatic coast. "He's like my assistant in the field and I really appreciate Luka Modric for everything this guy did this year and he deserves everything".

"I´m still not realising how good a year I had collectively, individually, and I´m very proud for everything I achieved this year and it will be remembered forever".

Peru's supporters won the FIFA Fan Award and German Lennart Thy, who plays for Turkish club BB Erzurumspor, won the FIFA Fair Play Award after donating stem cells to help a leukaemia patient.

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For the first time in 12 years, Messi was not among the finalists with Salah earning a place on the podium for his incredible 44-goal debut season with Liverpool that carried the Reds to the Champions League final.

Looking dapper in their suits, they stopped by at the green carpet to take a snap shot before heading into the hall for the event proper. "Thanks to my fans all over the world for great support and love that they are showing me".

However, Portugal´s last 16 exit to Uruguay in Russian Federation and Ronaldo´s failure to score in the semi-finals or final of the Champions League opened the door for Modric.

The best goal category - established in 2009 - is inclusive of women, but none appeared on the top 10 list this year. Mohamed Salah's curling effort against Everton won that award.

Courtois said: "I want to thank my team-mates at Chelsea, at Real Madrid and the national team - also my managers".

Thibaut Courtois added the Federation Internationale de Football Association goalkeeper award to the Golden Glove he collected in Russia for helping Belgium to third place with three clean sheets.

Fabio Capello led the criticism of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for failing to attend FIFA's The Best awards on Monday night, despite both receiving nominations.

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