Not Lionel Messi. Not Cristiano Ronaldo. The Best FIFA Men`s Player 2018 title was won by Luka Modric. That is, the FIFA version, the world’s best player at the moment is Modric.
For the first time since 2007 – when Kaka won the FIFA World Player of the Yeartitle – the title of the world’s best player was won by “humans”, not “aliens”. Although the title had changed to FIFA Ballon d’Or (2010-2015) and The Best FIFA Men`s Player(since 2016).
Modric is considered to have performed better than Messi and Ronaldo, who are touted as the two best players of this universe, throughout the 2017/18 season. Is it appropriate for him to get the title?
Luka Modric ended the 2017/18 season by bringing Real Madrid to the Spanish Super Cup, European Super Cup, Club World Cup and Champions League.
In addition, he also brought the Croatian national team to reach the 2018 World Cup final.
Compared to Messi and Ronaldo, Modric’s achievements are far more flashy. Messi “only” won the Spanish La Liga and Copa del Rey titles. Messi did not enter the top three this time. Ronaldo, who last season was still at Real Madrid (now Juventus), lost to Modric through the achievement of the World Cup.
If Modric made it to the final, Ronaldo with Portugal national team was eliminated in the round of 16. Ronaldo, who became the best player in 2016 and 2017, had to settle for second place.
The third rank is occupied by Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian national team striker is actually without a trophy. But his appearance in the 2017/18 season was indeed extraordinary. In the team, he brought Liverpool to the Champions League final. Personally, he scored a total of 44 goals from 52 appearances; even though the goal was actually lost to Messi (45 goals from 54 matches) and Ronaldo (44 goals from 44 matches).
From here it has become quite clear that Modric is indeed worthy of being ordained as the world’s best player of the 2018 season. Although football is a game of a team, the ability of this 33-year-old player indeed influences Real Madrid and Croatia as a whole.
Modric’s score at Real Madrid is actually only two. Only seven of them. At the World Cup, he scored two goals and one assistant. But Modric’s greatness cannot be seen from mere statistical figures. Moreover, he is not Ronaldo, Messi, or Salah who has the main task of scoring goals.
Modric occupies the central midfield position both at Real Madrid and in Croatia. Although in the details of the game there are different roles when he is in uniform in Madrid and Croatia, but overall, the player born in Zadar is a team spirit. Madrid and Croatia have a qualified midfield thanks to their ability to balance the midfield both in defense and attack.
In a 4-3-3 formation applied by Real Madrid or Croatia, he is not an attacking midfielder who is just waiting for the ball near the opponent’s penalty box.
He along with Toni Kroos at Real Madrid or Ivan Rakitic in Croatia, is in front of a holding midfielder to become a bridge between the back and front lines.
However, in a role and based on statistics, Modric is actually no better than Kroos. In La Liga for example, Kroos became a midfielder with the highest number of passes per game 76.7 passes per match. Modric “only” 59.9 operands per game. Meanwhile, Kroos recorded 64 key passes when Modric “only” carved 39 key passes. Even though in role, they are not much different.
What distinguishes Kroos and Modric’s quality is his second appearance at the World Cup. Kroos, who was also the spirit of the German game, could not help his team qualify for the knockout phase. Though Kroos team-mate in the German national team is actually more qualified than Modric’s teammates in Croatia. But with Modric being the captain, and Zlatko Dalic as the coach , the Croatian players, most of whom don’t have flashy names, have achieved the best achievements and the best performances.
Modric’s appearance in Croatia does show the former Tottenham Hotspur player’s class. Although he was 33 years old, he became one of the players that Dalic always sent down. In seven matches, in the knockout phase, he always played up to 120 minutes of play. Only in the final did he play 90 minutes normally. But stamina and quality are maintained. Though Croatia displays a pressing game in which the players, not least Modric, will always try to grab the ball since the opponents take control in their own defense.
Modric won 29.08% of the votes for the FIFA 2018 version of the best player. Although the FIFA version, however, the ones who choose are players, coaches, media and even 25% of their votes are the voices of fans all over the world. Ronaldo below got 19.08% of the vote while Salah incised 11.23% of the vote.
If you look at the top 10 in the 2018 award nominations, the players who performed impressively at the 2018 World Cup did get more value. Kylian Mbappe is in fourth place with 10.52% of the vote, Antoine Griezmann is in sixth position (6.69% of the vote), while Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne who bring the Belgian national team to third place in the World Cup are 7th and 8th best. world. Harry Kane who is the top scorer of the 2018 World Cup “narrows” is ranked 10th.
But their achievements are nothing compared to Modric. Not only the World Cup, the player with a height of 172 cm was also able to bring the team who won the Champions League. For the 2017/18 season, when Messi only performed well in La Liga, Ronaldo and Salah were only in the Champions League, Mbappe, Hazard and De Bruyne were only in the World Cup, Modric appeared extraordinary in all three competitions.
What about Raphael Varane who almost won all titles in the 2017/18 season? Defenders are often ruled out, where the last defender who won the world title was in 2006, 12 years ago. After all, at the World Cup, Varane’s appearance was not as prominent as Modric which really became the life of the Croatian game.