Sport Soccer

Saturday 25 May 2019

Martin O'Neill and Seamus Coleman's Fifa The Best Award selections revealed

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and captain Seamus Coleman
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and captain Seamus Coleman Newsdesk Newsdesk

Luka Modric was named FIFA men's player of the year at a star-studded show in London on Monday, but neither of the men who have dominated the prize for a decade were there to congratulate him.

After 10 years of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo passing the award between themselves, Modric beat Ronaldo and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah to claim the final prize of the Best FIFA Football Awards show, with Messi not nominated for the first time since 2007.

Ronaldo also failed to turn up for last month's UEFA awards night in Monaco, where Modric also won the top prize for his midfield brilliance for Croatia and Real Madrid.

His agent made it pretty clear that the former Real Madrid man was snubbing that event in protest at not winning, but the official excuse for the FIFA prize was that he is playing for Juventus on Wednesday.

It had been reported that Messi would come despite failing to make the player-of-the-year short list, but the Barcelona star was another no-show.

If the absence of football's power couple upset Modric, he did not show it.

In his acceptance speech, the 33-year-old thanked his team-mates for club and country in English, Spanish and Croatian, and said how proud he was to win the prize with Croatian great Zvonimir Boban, now FIFA's deputy general secretary sitting in the front row at the Royal Festival Hall.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, the former Spurs maestro explained how proud he was to win the award, describing it as recognition "for a bit of everything, the season we had with Real Madrid, winning the Champions League again, and then getting to the World Cup final with Croatia".

Asked if he deserved to beat his ex-team-mate Ronaldo, Modric said he would not get into that, but just wanted to thank all those who voted for him.

And on the big two's absence, he said: "Everyone has their own reasons. Obviously I would have like them to be here but they aren't."

Details of how international managers and captains voted have been revealed:

Martin O'Neill - Republic of Ireland coach

Lionel Messi (1st) Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd) Mohamed Salah (3rd)

Seamus Coleman - Republic of Ireland captain

Luka Modric (1st) Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd) Lionel Messi (3rd)

Michael O'Neill - Northern Ireland coach

Mohamed Salah (1st) Luka Modric (2nd) Kevin De Bruyne (3rd)

Lionel Messi - Argentina captain

Luka Modric (1st) Kylian Mbappe (2nd) Cristiano Ronaldo (3rd)

Cristiano Ronaldo - Portugal captain

Raphael Varane (1st) Luka Modric (2nd) Antoine Griezmann (3rd)

Harry Kane - England captain

Cristiano Ronaldo (1st) Lionel Messi (2nd) Kevin De Bruyne (3rd)

Luka Modric - Croatia captain

Raphael Varane (1st) Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd) Antoine Griezmann (3rd)

Hugo Lloris - France captain

Raphael Varane (1st) Antoine Griezmann (2nd) Kylian Mbappe (3rd)

Manuel Neuer - Germany captain

Eden Hazard (1st) Luka Modric (2nd) Raphael Varane (3rd)

Virgil van Dijk - Netherlands captain

Mohamed Salah (1st) Kevin De Bruyne (2nd) Kylian Mbappe (3rd)

Sergio Ramos - Spain captain

Luka Modric (1st) Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd) Lionel Messi (3rd)

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