Luka Modric Named 2018 Best FIFA Men’s Player Ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo & Mohamed Salah

?Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has been crowned Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2018 at the annual FIFA gala held in London, beating off competition from former Bernabeu colleague ?Cristiano Ronaldo and 44-goal Liverpool superstar ?Mohamed Salah.

Modric has enjoyed a stunning year, winning a fourth Champions League title with Real and later captaining Croatia to the final of the 2018 World Cup, for which he received the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player.

Only last month, Modric was the winner of the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award.

The 33-year-old is the first Croatian player to win either a global FIFA award and is only the second from Croatia to even place in the top three after national hero Davor Suker in 1998. Modric‘s success will now make him favourite to also win the Ballon d’Or in December.

Earlier on the night, Brazil superstar Marta was presented with the Best FIFA Women’s Player award in recognition for her fine form for club and country.

Marta, now playing for Orlando Pride, previously won five consecutive Women’s FIFA World Player of the Year awards from 2006 to 2010 and steered Brazil to Copa America glory this year.

Elsewhere, it was a French double on the coaching front. Didier Deschamps won the Best FIFA Men’s Coach award in recognition of guiding France to only the country’s second ever World Cup triumph during the summer, while Lyon’s Reynald Pedros won the Best FIFA Women’s Coach award.

Deschamps won his prestigious award ahead of fellow countryman Zinedine Zidane, who oversaw Real Madrid’s third consecutive Champions League title last season, and Zlatko Dalic, whose Croatia side reached the World Cup final against the odds

In winning the World Cup, Deschamps joined an elite group of men who have lifted the trophy as both a player and coach alongside Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer.

Massimiliano Allegri, Stanislav Cherchesov, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Roberto Martinez, Diego Simeone, Gareth Southgate and Ernesto Valverde had featured on the original shortlist before it was cut to a final three for the ceremony.

Pedros was just as successful, as he guided his side to a league and UEFA Women’s Champions League double – with the club going unbeaten in the domestic season. His side also reached the Coupe de France Feminine final.

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FIFPro World XI Named at Prestigious FIFA Best Awards Ceremony in London

Manchester United and Spain goalkeeper David de Gea is among the players to have been named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI for 2018, though there was a notable omission from the team – in Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

With the Best FIFA Football Award ceremony having taken place in London on Monday night, several players were recognised for their contributions to the sport over the past year.

The Spanish stopper joined Real Madrid stars Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Marcelo and Luka Modric in the world’s top side, while Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi was included as well.

Former Barca star defender Dani Alves, now at Paris Saint-Germain, made up the defensive line for the World’s best as Chelsea pair N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard were named among the best midfielders.

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The Blues midfielders have been two of the most impressive players in the Premier League and they both had incredible campaigns in the World Cup, with the former going on to win the trophy with France while the latter won bronze with Belgium.

New Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo has also unsurprisingly made it into the prestigious 11 after another great year in Europe with Madrid, and French prodigy Kylian Mbappe would join him after a World Cup-winning summer.

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?Modric, who won the World Cup’s Golden Ball and was only recently named UEFA’s Player of the Year, has been handed yet another personal triumph off the back of an incredible season with Real and an impressive World Cup performance with Croatia.

The Croatian midfielder would also be presented with the night’s top award, being named the Best FIFA Men’s Player of 2018.

“This trophy is also for my family without who I would not be the player and person that I am,” he said. “Thanks to my fans all over the world for great support and love that they are showing me.”

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Mohamed Salah Lands FIFA Puskas Award as Thibaut Courtois Scoops Prize for Best Goalkeeper

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has won the Puskas Award for best goal at the annual FIFA Best Awards held in London on Monday night.

The goal, which ?Salah beautifully curled into the corner on a snowy afternoon against Merseyside rivals Everton, beat off competition from a stacked list of amazing goals. It wasn’t enough for Liverpool on the day as they drew the match 1-1 at Anfield, but Salah admitted he was delighted to pick up the award.

He said: “I’m very happy and proud. I have to thank everyone who voted for me. I’m looking forward to another award tonight.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored an overhead kick in the Champions League against current club Juventus, and Gareth Bale, who hit one of his own in the Champions League final against Liverpool, are among those to miss out on the award.

Named for Hungary legend Ferenc Puskas, the Puskas Award has been presented to the scorer of the ‘most beautiful’ goal of the year on an annual basis since 2009. Past winners have included Olivier Giroud, James Rodriguez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Neymar.

Elsewhere, Belgium stopper Thibaut Courtois won the Best FIFA goalkeeper award. He helped his country finish third at the World Cup to achieve their best ever finish, while at club level he helped Chelsea win the FA Cup last season and later moved to Real Madrid.

The Best FIFA Goalkeeper was a new award for 2017 and was first won by Gianluigi Buffon.

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VIDEO: Real Madrid Show Virtual Projection of New-Look Bernabeu & Reveal How Much Money It Will Make

Spanish giants Real Madrid have revealed plans to renovate their Santiago Bernabeu stadium in a video showing fans a virtual projection of what the refurbished facilities will look like upon completion.

Club president Florentino Perez has also declared that the new Bernabeu will rake in at least €150m per season and will provide better comfort and security for supporters.

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Perez also indicated that the time is right for such an investment, given Real’s financial strength at the moment, as well as reduced interest rates.

On Sunday, the Primera Division side released a video on their Twitter account, giving supporters a glimpse of what they can expect in future.


“The cost was to be 400 million euros but the modification of the project to comply with new obligations from the Madrid Court of Justice ruling has led to an increase to 525 million euros,” the Los Blancos chief revealed, via MARCA.

“Now is the ideal time for it with low-interest rates, it is an opportunity we have to the advantage of because in addition, our debt has become negative.

“Our financial strength allows us flexibility and the annual fee of about 25 million euros is less than four per cent of our revenues from last season.

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“The new stadium will also bring us in 150 million euros per season.”

It has also been reported that the new Bernabeu will have a retractable roof and hotel rooms with a view of the pitch.

“It will be more modern, more secure. There are two objectives: improving comfort and accessibility for our fans and secondly, to obtain more income,” Perez continued.

“All locations will have new seats, new services, two new towers in Castellana will allow for better exiting, better access and the movement of fans will be more fluid.

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“Technological advances and audiovisual media will be present throughout the stadium as well as a new screen. There will be 800 new locations for people with different disabilities and two new club stores, one in Castellana and the other in Padre Damian.”

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Karim Benzema Looking to Secure New Real Madrid Contract Amid Interest From Premier League

After an impressive start to the new season, French forward Karim Benzema is believed to have demanded a new and improved contract with Real Madrid, and is prepared to leave the club in favour of Chelsea, Manchester United or Arsenal if they cannot meet his demands.

In the post-Cristiano Ronaldo era, Benzema has netted four goals in five La Liga appearances so far this season, and has managed to keep the returning Mariano out of the starting lineup. The 30-year-old has faced many critics in recent years, but has consistently proven himself to be integral to the first team.

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The report of ?Benzema’s contract demands comes from Spanish outlet ?Don Balon, who describe Benzema’s actions as a ‘threat’ to Florentino Perez and ?Real Madrid. This season, Benzema has looked completely reborn, with his attitude and movement on the pitch impressing many in Spain, and Don Balon claim that Benzema now feels he deserves a significant pay rise.

The claim from Don Balon is also reinforced by ?Diario Gol, who state that Benzema is willing to leave the club if they do not accept his demands. The report claims that ?Chelsea, ?Manchester United and ?Arsenal are all interested in the Frenchman, who would seriously consider their proposals if necessary.

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Inter Milan are also named as potential suitors for Benzema, especially if Mauro Icardi leaves the club in January. Links between Icardi and Real Madrid refuse to disappear, meaning the two could potentially be involved in a swap deal.

Benzema and his agent are believed to be using the interest from the aforementioned clubs as a way of simply earning more money in Madrid, but he is prepared to follow through on his threat of leaving the club if Real Madrid fail to prove their loyalty to him.

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Don Balon claim that Perez and Real Madrid are not prepared to discuss an extension for Benzema, with Benzema’s age cited as a serious issue for the club.

Since joining Real Madrid, Benzema has made 419 appearances for the club, netting an impressive 197 goals since arriving in 2009.

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