The Best FIFA Football Awards™

The Best FIFA Football Awards™

Thursday 17 December 2020

The Best FIFA Football Awards™

How The Best of 2018 were crowned

  • We look back on The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018
  • A new and familiar face scooped the player awards
  • French talent earned a clean sweep in the coaching titles

A spectacular night on the banks of the River Thames saw the stars of the beautiful game light up the streets of London for a second time, as The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018 honoured football’s great and good.

Warmed by the afterglow of a FIFA World Cup™ to remember at Russia 2018, the historic Royal Festival Hall was awash with not only the protagonists from a captivating year of the sport we adore, but stars of the screen and stage, too.

Idris Elba reprised his role as the man with the microphone as we relived a season of drama and delight culminating in some memorable award winners. Here’s how 2018’s The Best were named.

A monumental duo

It had been ten successive years since a player not named Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi had been crowned as the best male player on the planet. It always looked like it would take something memorable to change that and Luka Modric did just that.

Having helped Real Madrid conquer European and world football, while leading Croatia on an astounding run to the World Cup Final, the midfield maestro earned the title of The Best FIFA Men’s Player.

When it came to The Best FIFA Women’s Player, it was an altogether different matter. Rather than disrupting a duopoly, Marta continued to prove that class is truly permanent.

Brazil’s undisputed footballing queen has fallen outside the final three in the running to the best female player in the world only twice since 2004, earning her sixth title in 2018; a truly staggering achievement.

The Best FIFA Football Awards - Show
© Getty Images

France’s finest coronated

Having shone at Russia 2018 in fabulous style, France boss Didier Deschamps walked away as The Best FIFA Men’s Coach, having become only the third man to win the World Cup as both a player and a coach.

However, the quality of French coaching had already been honoured that evening. Having led Lyon to their third successive UEFA Women’s Champions League title, and another league title, in his first season at the helm, Reynald Pedros was named The Best FIFA Women’s Coach.

Didier Deschamps pose for a photo with his The Best FIFA Men's Coach Award 
© Getty Images

A diving Devil

Already having picked up the adidas Golden Glove at Russia 2018, Thibaut Courtois added to that and his World Cup bronze medal by being named the second ever recipient of The Best FIFA Goalkeeper.


An exceptional season, full of mesmerising goals, was capped off for Mohamed Salah as he became the tenth winner of the FIFA Puskas Award, courtesy of his strike in the Merseyside derby against Everton.

Amazing fans and an exceptional gesture

Russia 2018 was an overwhelming showing of love for the beautiful game from all across the world, as the colours of 32 countries filled the streets of the 11 host cities. One group which carried the spirit wholeheartedly was fans of Peru. At their first finals since 1982, their supporters didn’t need to be asked twice to embrace the opportunity, with their joy earning them the FIFA Fan Award.

And while that collective expression was rightly lauded, an individual act of selflessness also came in for special appreciation. Having discovered he could help a leukaemia patient’s struggle, VVV-Venlo’s Lennart Thy sidelined himself for a week – missing a huge game with PSV – to donate stem cells, earning him the FIFA Fair Play Award.

Perfect eleven

Every year professional players vote for their top line-up from the last year in the FIFA FIFPro World XI. This is who they chose:

  • David De Gea;
  • Dani Alves, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo;
  • Luka Modric, N'Golo Kante, Eden Hazard;
  • Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo.

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