Croatia and Real Madrid star Luka Modric has beaten Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah to be crowned the Best Fifa’s men’s player of 2018.
Modric was named as the winner of the men’s category at the climax of the Best Fifa Football Awards show at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Monday night.
The former Tottenham midfielder broke the 10-year Lionel Messi/Ronaldo duopoly, with Modric the first player other than the pair to win the award for over a decade.
Compered by British actor Idris Elba, the awards were in their third year in this guise 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.
Since 2008, it had been Messi first and Ronaldo second five times, and Ronaldo first, Messi second five times.
The voting system was equally weighted between national team managers, national captains, representatives from the media and an online public vote.
Ronaldo, 33, who joined Juventus this summer in a £99million deal, helped Real Madrid win a third straight Champions League title last season, his fifth in total, with 15 goals in the tournament.
But Portugal did not progress beyond the last 16 in Russia, although Ronaldo did score a memorable hat-trick against Spain.
Modric was a key member of that Madrid side but he also drove Croatia to their first appearance in a World Cup final, where they lost 4-2 to France but not before beating the likes of Argentina, Russia and of course England.
Liverpool star Salah, like Ronaldo, was not at his peak in Russia but he at least had the excuse of not being fit following his controversial tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final.
Prior to that moment, though, the Egyptian was arguably the hottest finisher in the world with his 32 Premier League goals a record for a 38-game season.