- Luka Modric and Didier Deschamps take home top men’s honours
- Marta and Reynald Pedros awarded top women’s gongs
- Thibaut Courtois named The Best FIFA Goalkeeper
In a glittering ceremony that saw a host of footballing stars descend on London’s Royal Festival Hall, home to London’s Symphony Orchestra, the beautiful game’s chief conductors were coronated at The Best FIFA Football Awards™ in the United Kingdom’s capital.
Luka Modric and Didier Deschamps were awarded the leading honours for The Best FIFA Men’s Player and Men’s Coach respectively, after their outstanding years and notable contributions at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. Legendary Brazilian forward Marta and first-time nominee Reynald Pedros were rewarded as The Best FIFA Women’s Player and Women’s coach respectively.
After Gianluigi Buffon picked up the inaugural The Best FIFA Goalkeeper Award at last year’s ceremony, Thibaut Courtois was crowned his replacement after the now Real Madrid man’s outstanding year with Chelsea and stunning performances at Russia 2018.
The FIFA FIFPro World11 included two of Courtois’ former Blues team-mates and four of his current Los Blancos colleagues. Luka Modric was joined in the star-studded XI by club team-mates Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane with David De Gea, Dani Alves, Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi completing the star-studded line-up elected by thousands of players from across the globe.
The players had their say, and so did the fans, who voted for the Puskás and FIFA Fan Awards, with Mo Salah the ultimate winner of the Puskás Award thanks to his outstanding goal against Everton. Peru supporters scooped the third Fan Award, thanks to the South American country’s dedicated and fanatical following at the World Cup.
In an evening sprinkled by show business, with star of small and large screen Idris Elba hosting proceedings, it was a heart-warming story fit for Hollywood that saw the FIFA Fair Play Award handed to Lennart Thy. The German forward missed a week's training and a match for his then side VVV-Venlo in the Dutch Eredivisie to donate stem cells for potentially life-saving treatment for a patient battling leukaemia.
Musical entertainment was provided by Big Shaq – of ‘Man’s Not Hot' fame – and British rock god Noel Gallagher, the latter of whom brought the house down with a performance of Don't Look Back in Anger. One of the best musicians of his generation, in a venue fabled for its musical history, then watched on as the orchestrators of wonderful music on football pitches the world over were honoured as The Best in London.
The Best, in full
Men’s Player: Luka Modric
Women’s Player: Marta
Men’s Coach: Didier Deschamps
Women’s Coach: Reynald Pedros
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois
Puskás Award: Mo Salah
Fan Award: Peru supporters
Fair Play Award: Lennart Thy
World11: David De Gea; Dani Alves, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane; Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Luka Modric; Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi.