Luka Modric broke a decade of award dominance by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi after being crowned world footballer of the year by FIFA.
Modric was voted FIFA’s best player in the 2017-18 season at the Best Fifa Football Awards in London on Monday.
He won the Champions League for a fourth time in five seasons with Real Madrid and led Croatia to its first World Cup final where it lost to France.
Messi and Ronaldo were the only winners of world football’s main individual award from FIFA in various guises since 2008, both winning five titles each.
Messi didn’t make the three-man shortlist and skipped the trip to London.
France beat Croatia to win World Cup 2018
And as a new dawn in FIFA’s awards history broke inside London’s Royal Festival Hall, Ronaldo also didn’t turn up at the ceremony to be dethroned in person by his former Real Madrid teammate despite being in the final three alongside Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.
Ronaldo, who left Madrid in the offseason to join Italian champion Juventus, was knocked out of the World Cup in the round of 16 with European champion Portugal.
Salah scored a record 32 goals in a 38-game English Premier League and helped Liverpool reach its first Champions League final in 11 years.
Marta won her first women’s FIFA player of the year award since 2010 after leading Brazil to Copa America Femenina glory. She also scored 13 goals as Orlando Pride reached the NWSL playoffs.
Meanwhile, Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois added the FIFA goalkeeper award to the Golden Glove he collected in Russia for helping his side to third place with three clean sheets.
Team of the year
Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Spain, Manchester United)
Defenders: Dani Alves (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain), Raphael Varane (France, Real Madrid). Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid).
Midfielders: Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid), N’Golo Kante (France, Chelsea), Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea).
Forwards: Kylian Mbappe (France, Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid/currently Juventus)