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FIFA Gala: Mohamed Salah wins the 10th Puskás Award, Modric named best player
16 Oct. 2018.
The 2018 FIFA Gala was held in London on 25th September and was noteworthy, amongst other reasons, for Luka Modric's achievement of winning the men's footballer of the year award. Meanwhile, the goal of the year prize surprisingly went to Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah. Hungarian daily sport newspaper Nemzeti Sport reported directly from the event.
Modric's victory comes after his Real Madrid team won the UEFA Champions League for the third year in a row and his Croatian national side went all the way to the FIFA World Cup final, where they lost 4-2 to France. UEFA also recently announced Modric had won their player of the year accolade.
In the women's category, two Lyon players - Budapest-born Dzsenifer Marozsán who represents Germany at international level and Ada Hegerberg - featured in the top three but neither could supercede Brazil's Marta, who took the prize for the sixth time in her career.
The coach of the year award was contested by the two World Cup finalists and a Champions League winner, the holder Zinedine Zidane unable to retain his crown as former teammate from his France international playing days, Didier Deschamps, took the title having led France to World Cup glory. Women's coach of the year went to Marozsán's coach at Lyon, Reynald Pedros.
The best men's goalkeeper prize went to Thibaut Courtois, the Belgium international who switched clubs from Chelsea to Real Madrid in late summer, but he couldn't find a spot in FIFA's team of the year, which features five reigning Champions League winners and three World Cup victors: David de Gea (Manchester United) – Dani Alves (PSG), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid) – Luka Modric (Real Madrid), N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea), Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, Juventus).
FIFA's Fair Play award was presented to VVV-Venló's German striker Lennart Thy, who missed a Dutch league match against PSV Eindhoven to act as a donor for a person suffering from leukaemia.
The supporters of the year category saw Peru's fans take the honour thanks to more than 40,000 of them travelling to watch their team and create a fantastic atmosphere at this year's FIFA World Cup in Russia.
There was no surprise in the young footballer of the year category, Paris St Germain's French international striker and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe being recognised in this regard.