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Best FIFA Awards 2018: Who won the hardware, made Best XI?

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Luka Modric won the Men’s Best Player award at Monday’s Best FIFA Football Awards show in London, capping off an extraordinary 2018 (a bit early, granted) for the Croatian who helped Real Madrid to a third straight Champions League title and guided his country to the 2018 World Cup final in the calendar year.

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“It is a great honor and a beautiful feeling to stand here with this amazing trophy,” he said in his acceptance speech. “First of all, I would like to congratulate Mohamed [Salah] and Cristiano [Ronaldo]. I am sure in the future you will have another opportunity to fight for this trophy.

“This award is not just mine. It is my teammates from Real Madrid and Croatia. Without my coaches I would not have won this. Without my family I would not be the player I am today.”

Marta won the Women’s Best Player award, for the first time in her legendary career, after leading Brazil to glory at the 2018 Copa America and scoring 13 goals to go with six assists for her NWSL side, Orlando Pride.

“This means so much. It is not only about Marta but it is about my teammates and women’s football.

“It is amazing. For me, it is most important to see women’s soccer grow up each year. If I keep doing well and that can help outside of the field too then I am happy.”

Didier Deschamps, who guided France to its second World Cup title this summer, won the Men’s Best Coach award.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah won the 2018 Puskas award for the best goal scored, upsetting Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale who each scored a stunning bicycle kick for Madrid in Champions League play last season.

FIFPro Best XI

Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Manchester United)

Defenders: Dani Alves (Paris Saint-Germain), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

London-born actor — and apparent England superfan — Idris Elba took home the award for best- (or worst-, depending on personal preference) dressed.

Madrid president claims Inter wanted Modric “without paying”

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Real Madrid president Florentino Perez claims many things and makes many wild claims, but if what he says is true about a transfer story this summer, it’s not a great look for one of the more storied Italian clubs.

Internazionale was heavily linked to Madrid midfielder Luka Modric this summer after the Croatian’s spectacular performance at the World Cup, but according to Perez, their offers to sign him were an insulting lowball.

Perez told Sky Sports Italy that Inter wanted to sign Modric on the cheap. “They tried to sign our number 10 without paying for him,” he said. “It’s the first time something like that has ever happened to me in my life.” He didn’t give any specifics, but the Evening Standard did. According to a report by Evening Standard reporter Ben Hayward, Inter offered to sign Modric on loan for the season and pay a “small” loan fee after the year was complete. It appears their tactic was to tempt Modric with a hefty salary and hope he forced his way out of Madrid, but that did not occur.

“I’m not just happy at Real Madrid, I’m very happy,” Modric said during his UEFA Player of the Year acceptance speech on Thursday. “I’m at the best club in the world – it’s where I want to be.”

According to the report, Madrid followed up Inter’s move by submitting an official complaint to UEFA. There was no word on the outcome of that complaint.

Over the summer, Perez repeatedly said he would not sell Modric unless a club ponied up to match his outrageous $875 million release clause.

Real Madrid reports Inter Milan to FIFA over Modric pursuit

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ZURICH (AP) Real Madrid has reported Inter Milan to FIFA over the Italian club’s pursuit of midfielder Luka Modric.

FIFA says it has received a complaint from Madrid ahead of the Serie A transfer window closing later Friday.

The 32-year-old Modric came on as a second-half substitute Wednesday in the UEFA Super Cup, which Madrid lost to Atletico Madrid 4-2 in extra time.

It was Modric’s first competitive game since the World Cup final, which Croatia lost to France in July.

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Real Madrid president deems Luka Modric worth staggering $870 million

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According to mercurial Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, Luka Modric is worth his weight in gold.

The Croatian won the Golden Ball as the best player at the 2018 World Cup, and upon his return to the club scene, he has been showered in not only praise, but value. Perez told the media that Modric is worth $868 million, and only a bid of that level will pry him away from the Spanish giants.

Reports have surfaces recently of interest in Modric from Inter Milan, with Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio reporting that Perez will meet with Modric sometime next week to decide his fate, but after these comments – if true – it will be tough for Perez to then back down and accept a lower bid.

Juventus was also rumored to be chasing Modric, hoping to reunited the midfielder with his former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, but it would seem those hopes are dashed.

“Modric is not leaving Real Madrid,” Spanish publication AS quoted Perez as saying. “He is not leaving unless someone pays the €750 million of his release clause and not a Euro less.”

Modric dazzled World Cup viewers with his cutting runs, his brilliant through-balls, and his clairvoyant passing. Still, at 32 years old, it’s unfathomable that someone would pay that insane sum of money for his signature. Even Cristiano Ronaldo, largely considered one of the most valuable players in the world thanks to his massive fanbase and his extremely visible celebrity status, cost one eighth of that sum thanks mostly due to his advanced age of 33.

Can you even imagine what the purchase of someone at that price would do to the market? It might ruin transfer fees forever. You can safely say this one ain’t happenin.

Modric interested in Inter Milan, says Italian report

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Real Madrid’s two most important pieces — sorry, Sergio Ramos — could be on opposite sides of the Serie A pitch next season.

Sky Sports is reporting that Inter Milan has contacted Real Madrid over 32-year-old Luka Modric, and that the Croatian World Cup star is interested in the idea of playing at the San Siro.

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Modric at Inter and Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus? The Real kids better be alright, and Julen Lopetegui will have high-priced Vinicius Jr. and Alvaro Odriozola in the fold.

The move makes sense for Modric, who would have instant synergy with countrymen Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Perisic and Sime Vrsaljko. Throw in Radja Nainngolan, and that midfield is primed for the UEFA Champions League.

What sort of fee for Modric, though?