Croatia’s Luka Modric was announced as the best player in the world for 2018, amassing 29.05 percent of the total votes cast by the coaches, captains and media representatives of the 168-member associations.
Gernot Rohr, Super Eagles coach, voted the eventual winner as his pick for first place. Modric dictated play and scored a penalty against his team in Croatia’s 2-0 win at the World Cup group stage, and the 65-year-old German was effusive in his praise for the Real Madrid midfielder after the game.
The former Burkina Faso coach voted Kylian Mbappé, the best young player at the World Cup, as his second pick while Belgium’s silver-ball-winning Eden Hazard was his third pick.
However, captain John Obi Mikel still has love for Argentina’s Lionel Messi whom he voted as his first pick. Both Messi and Mikel were crowned first and second respectively at the 2005 U-20 World Cup.
Mikel has often expressed his admiration for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner who punished the Super Eagles at the World Cup where his opener helped Argentina to a 2-1 win over Nigeria.
The former Chelsea player also voted Kylian Mbappe as his second pick while he considered Luka Modric the third best of 2018.
There was love for Cristiano Ronaldo from Nigeria’s media representative, Okpara Christian, who voted the Portuguese superstar as his best player of the year ahead of Eden Hazard and winner Luka Modric.
The FIFA Best award replaced the now-retired FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2016.
It is described by FIFA as an award given for excellence in association football team and individual achievements. Cristiano Ronaldo won the first two editions before Luka Modric’s latest triumph.