What more to say in a sport that unites the world together? In the last decade, it has been dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with each winning best FIFA man’s award 5 times. By now, you can conclude that football is the sport I am talking about.
The night of 24 September, 2018 took a different look with Lucas Modric breaking the jinx. The event started at exactly 7:30pm at the Royal Festival Hall in London. The stage was set, the wall paneling of the venue was welcoming and the architectural design was a thing to talk about for days. The event was witnessed by top footballers of the past – Ronaldinho Gaucho and Roberto Carlos of Brazil, Didier Drogba of Cote D’ivoire, Michael Ballack of Germany and Idris Elba, a famous Hollywood actor, was the anchor of the day.
The remarkable event started on the note of the FIFA PUSKAS award, with exciting and thrilling goals nominated from European leagues and the just concluded WC’18 hosted in Russia. Top goals were nominated from Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Mohammed Salah and Pavard of France. The Egyptian, Salah won the award although was believed by fans around the world to be a controversial decision by FIFA. Fans reacted by saying the awarded goal was not even the Egyptian’s most aesthetic goal last season.
The FIFA Fair Play Award goes to Lennart Thy, a German footballer for donating his bone marrow to save a leukemia patient. Wow!! Football is indeed more a sport.
Marta of Lyon, known to be the best female footballer of all time also won her fifth award of FIFA Women’s Award equaling Ronaldo and Messi in the men’s side of the sport.
After so much years of waiting, the FIFA Men’s Award spell was broken by Lucas Modric, a Croatian. You will agree with me that his impact was hugely felt in Real Madrid last season and in his national side after leading them through to the final in the Russia 2018 World Cup. This unarguably makes him the man of choice.
The FIFA Pro 11 was also named with the following players making the team: David De Gea, Dani Alves, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo Vieira, N’Golo Kante, Lucas Modric, Kylian Mbappe, Eden Hazard, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The formation took a shape of 4-2-3-1 this year unlike the conventional 4-3-3 used by FIFA. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi absence was noted and their awards were lifted by Michael Ballack and Ronaldinho Gaucho respectively for the picture session.
Other awards were Best Men’s Coach, Best Women’s Coach, FIFA Fan Award, and Best goalkeeper which goes to Thibaut Courtois of the Belgian Side for his outstanding performance in the World Cup 2018 hosted in Russia.
The night of the award being preceded by a dramatic year of football was brighter, bigger and indeed better than its 2017 predecessor. Football fans around the world will definitely be anticipating the Ballon D’or in December.
This article was written by Omotayo Kunle; connect with him on IG here