Who will win FIFA’s “The Best” in 2018?
On September 24, London will host the 3rd edition of “The Best FIFA Football Awards” and this year it’s going to be hard to predict who will be crowned as the best football player in the world.
Earlier this week, FIFA already announced the final 3 candidates to win the award and we already saw a few surprises in the shortlist with the absence of Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi, or even PSG‘s Kylian Mbappé. Let’s take a look at the list of the 3 players who made it to the podium:
::: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) / Juventus
::: Luka Modric (Croatia) / Real Madrid
::: Mohamed Salah (Egypt) / Liverpool
All of them had a great year so far and were very important in their teams’ domestic and international campaigns. Before you rush off to find the best bookmaker bonuses and place a bet in your favorite player, it might be a good idea to review each of these player’s accomplishments in 2017-18.
Cristiano Ronaldo, as we all know by now, got transferred to Juventus over the summer for a 112 million euros fee, but his performances for Real Madrid helped the club reaching their 13th Champions League trophy, the 3rd in a row. Not only that, but he was also the competition’s top scorer with 15 goals, 5 more than Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah who finished 2nd tied with several other players. Domestically, he delivered 26 goals in 27 games in La Liga, but failed to make the difference in several decisive moments of the season.
In his World Cup campaign for Portugal, Ronaldo had a promising start when he debuted with a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw against Spain, followed by the winning goal the game after against Morocco. However, he struggled a bit afterwards and Portugal ended up knocked out against Uruguay in the last-16 stage.
Luka Modric has been Real Madrid and Croatia‘s engine in the past years. It’s not easy for a player with his role to stand out in these type of awards in modern days, but he certainly deserved the nomination after dominating midfield game after game both for his club and his nation. Just like Ronaldo, he was very important in Real Madrid‘s success in the Champions League and a key player in several decisive games in the competition. Nevertheless, what really helped Modric building a strong case this year was his World Cup campaign for Croatia.
The 32-year old (turns 33 on September 9), was one of the most valuable players in the whole tournament and his country’s true leader on the pitch. He scored two goals in the group stage and helped destroying Argentina in a memorable performance that helped the Croatians bagging a 3-0 win.
Mohamed Salah is clearly the underdog in this year’s race for the “The Best FIFA Men’s Player” award. Unlike his other 2 opponents, the Egyptian didn’t win any title domestically or internationally, even though he got close to the silverware in the Champions League tournament, as he only lost in the final against Real Madrid. He was also unlucky to pick up an injury around the 30th minute of the first half in the final game, which prevented him from shining in the most important game of the season.
In England, he was Liverpool‘s key player all season long and his presence was crucial for the club to secure a Champions League spot. He finished the season with a record of 32 goals in 36 appearances in the Premier League, which converted him as the competition’s top scorer, 2 goals ahead of Tottenham‘s Harry Kane.
Sources: fifa.com / cnbc.com