Croatia captain and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić has been named the 2017/18 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year.
Modrić beat off other nominees Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) and Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) to win the prestigious award which was presented in Monaco on Thursday.
Modrić has had the year of his career, winning the UEFA Champions League in June for the fourth time, then in July becoming a FIFA World Cup runner-up with Croatia and winner of FIFA Golden Ball.
“It is a dream come true, to play for the best club in the world and to win trophies with them and also to be captain of Croatia, that is special to me,” Modrić said.
“The dynamic Modrić has been a key man for Madrid in their three consecutive UEFA Champions League triumphs, though his contributions have sometimes flown under the radar. The 32-year-old links midfield and attack with his pinpoint passing, low centre of gravity and eye for the spectacular, the phrase “through the eye of a needle” so often being applied to his through balls. His technique and comfort in possession make him a joy to watch,” said UEFA reporter Joe Walker.
Modrić also won the Midfielder of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League Season award beating Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) and Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
The rest of the top ten were:
4. Antoine Griezmann (Atlético & France)
5. Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)
6. Kylian Mbappé (Paris & France)
7. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City & Belgium)
8. Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid & France)
9. Eden Hazard (Chelsea & Belgium)
10. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid & Spain)
The shortlist of three players was selected by a jury comprising the 80 coaches of the clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League (32) and UEFA Europa League (48), along with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA’s member associations.