Croatia and Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric has been named as FIFA Player of the Year at the FIFA Best awards. The experienced midfielder beat off competition from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah to claim the award.
Modric enjoyed a stellar year helping Spanish giants Real Madrid to win a third consecutive Champions League, while also playing a major part in his country making it to the World Cup final, winning the golden ball in the process.
Finally getting recognition
Luka Modric is one of the most underrated midfielders in the world game. At 32 years-old the former Tottenham midfielder is finally receiving some recognition for his displays for club and country.
Modric has been praised in articles on Soccertimes previously, especially during the World Cup when the midfielder was so influential for Croatia alongside Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic in the centre of midfield.
Dictates play from midfield
Modric is such a clever technically gifted player, who at his best dictates play from his central midfield position on the pitch. There are not many players of Modric’s ilk in the game, so he is a valuable player. It is hard to believe that during his first season at Real Madrid he was listed in the flops of the season by one very prominent Spanish publication. Whoever compiled that list must be feeling a bit silly now.
Modric is the sort of player that the current England team lacks. Somebody who has the intelligence to put his foot on the ball, slow the game down and then increase the tempo when necessary. It is no coincidence that Real Madrid have won the Champions League three seasons in a row with a player like Modric in the centre of their midfield. He is simply a unique player.
Could win more silverware this season
Despite winning the Champions League in the last three seasons, Real Madrid are not considered as one of the hot favourites to win Europe’s elite competition this season. In fact, Manchester City, Juventus, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and last season’s finalists Liverpool are all shorter odds to lift the trophy this season.
One of the main reasons for lack of faith in the European champions is the major departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus. No doubt it will have a big effect on the team and the club as a whole.
However, Real Madrid have made a solid start to life under new boss Julen Lopetegui winning four of their five league games and also their first Champions League game of the season too. Los Blancos will be hoping to put up a better fight for the Spanish title against arch-rivals Barcelona this season. Lopetegui’s side will also be looking to retain the Champions League crown for an unprecedented four seasons.
The FIFA Player of the Year may not be the only thing that Modric wins in the next year or so, as Real Madrid have the quality to pick up even more silverware this season. No doubt if they do then their little Croatian playmaker will have been at the heart of their success.
Did Luka Modric deserve to win the FIFA Player of the Year award?