Yes, Luka Modric deserves FIFA’s The Best Award

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Luka Modric of Real Madrid poses for a photo during the The Best FIFA Football Awards Show at Royal Festival Hall on September 24, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

There is a general feeling of discomfort after Luka Modric received FIFA’s The Best Award, but he did everything to deserve it this year.

This Monday in London, Croatian midfielder Luka Modric received FIFA’s The Best Award from the hands of Gianni Infantino. The Awards ceremony was surprising in many aspects, but the biggest award of the night was picked up by the one player who deserved it the most out of all the three nominees. Given that FIFA didn’t include a single Frenchman or Lionel Messi in the final podium, there was a feeling of the award being rigged or not having any type of credibility and one could make a compelling argument about it. But the ones who vote are over 20,000 professionals who have vastly different opinions about who is actually the best player of the year, Modric was at the very top of that voting and he did more than enough to be considered the best footballer of 2018 by FIFA. The Croatian midfielder stepped on to the stage and he gave a speech in English, where he reacted very relaxed but was very grateful for the opportunity to be recognized with such honor. Out of the three nominees, the fans had already given Mohamed Salah his recognition with the Puskas Award earlier in the evening and Cristiano Ronaldo has left completely empty-handed from two award shows this year.

Only the Portuguese forward was the player who could’ve had a chance to beat Modric in the voting, but the Real Madrid midfielder proved that he really was the most outstanding player in the world this year with his Champions League and World Cup runs. In the past, there had already been midfielders who received an individual award like this one, but Zidane, Ronaldinho, and Kaká can be considered more as attacking midfielders. Modric, on the other hand, is a pure midfielder who also has defensive capabilities and he only focuses on getting the best out of the team rather than shining himself. FIFA doesn’t really recognize many defensive players as the best of the year, they did it with Fabio Cannavaro back in 2006 but they hadn’t recognized a midfielder like Modric since 1991 when they gave the FIFA Player of the Year Award to German Lothar Matthäus. All the other awards since that year except for that recognition to the Italian defender, have been awarded to players with more offensive capabilities. The Ballon d’Or award has followed a similar path in football history, they also don’t usually give the prize to midfield players who don’t usually score that many goals.

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The last pure midfielder who received an award as prestigious as this one in the past, goes all the way back to 2003 when Czech midfielder Pavel Nedved got the recognition after a fantastic year for Juventus. This year might be different for France Football who delivers the award, because being a French publication and with France winning the World Cup, everybody expects that one of Le Bleus wins the recognition after getting completely snubbed by both FIFA and UEFA this year. The players who could get in the podium of the nominees, are Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, and most likely Luka Modric will also be a part of this final list. If that happens, this will be the first time in the last decade when neither Messi or Cristiano are amongst the final podium to win the Ballon d’Or. Luka Modric does deserve these awards, he was the footballer who had the better year out of the three who competed for The Best award, but there is a lot of people who still think that the Argentine and the Portuguese forwards still dominate football today. This new recognition for Luka Modric also places the Croatian in a privileged position, because now he is the favorite to win the final award of the year in December.

Do you think Modric deserved to be The Best or who do you think should’ve gotten the award by FIFA? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.


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