Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić has been named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for 2017/18. Modrić beat off competition from former Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who joined him on the three-man shortlist announced on 20 August. The Croatian international received the trophy on stage in Monaco during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw. He was also named UEFA Champions League Midfielder of the Season.
The top ten
Modrić beat off competition from Ronaldo and Salah
1 Luka Modrić (Real Madrid & Croatia) – 313 points
2 Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Real Madrid & Portugal) – 223 points
3 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool & Egypt) – 134 points
4 Antoine Griezmann (Atlético & France) – 72 points
5 Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina) – 55 points
6 Kylian Mbappé (Paris & France) – 43 points
7 Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City & Belgium) – 28 points
8 Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid & France) – 23 points
9 Eden Hazard (Chelsea & Belgium) – 15 points
10 Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid & Spain) – 12 points
Why did Modrić win the vote?
Modrić’s understated class was more evident than ever last season, the diminutive midfielder helping Madrid to a third straight UEFA Champions League title before then guiding his country to their first FIFA World Cup final. Though the 32-year-old is neither a prolific goalscorer nor an outright defensive shield, his dynamism and quality in possession set him apart.
“Always available to receive the ball, he is incredibly important to how the champions want to play,” said the UEFA Technical Observers when selecting Modrić in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season.
Season in numbers
Honours: UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, FIFA World Cup runner-up
Modrić also claimed the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball for his performances for Croatia in Russia this summer.
UEFA Champions League
How Modrić was chosen
The jury comprised the 80 coaches of the clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League (32) and UEFA Europa League (48), along with 55 journalists chosen by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA’s member associations.
Jury members picked their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.
“He is a player who has a very different talent, he improves anyone who is around him. It shows when he is not on the field – Madrid are a different team without Luka.”
Croatia team-mate Ivan Rakitić
“Even if we leave trophies aside, the way he plays and the way he dominates for Real Madrid is impressive.”
Former Madrid and Croatia midfielder Robert Prosinečki
“It’s not easy to stop Modrić because he’s such a clever player – he can read the game so well and can play in many different areas.”
Former Madrid manager José Mourinho
What is the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award?
The award recognises the best players, irrespective of nationality, playing for a club within the territory of a UEFA member association during the past season. Players are judged on their performances in all competitions – domestic, continental and international.
Roll of honour*
2017/18 ─ Luka Modrić (Real Madrid & Croatia)
2016/17 ─ Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
2015/16 ─ Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
2014/15 ─ Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)
2013/14 ─ Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
2012/13 ─ Franck Ribéry (Bayern & France)
2011/12 ─ Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona & Spain)
2010/11 ─ Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)