MONACO, Aug 31: Real Madrid and Croatia star Luka Modric received the accolade of UEFA Player of the Year in Monaco, beating his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool�s Mohamed Salah to the prize.
�I�m very happy to receive this great prize. I have worked hard for this, to get to the highest point possible,� said Modric, who starred in the Real side that won the Champions League for the third year running before also leading Croatia to the World Cup final.
�I can say for sure that this has been the best year of my career, collectively and individually, and I am enjoying the moment,� added the 32-year-old, who was announced as the winner of the prize after Thursday�s draw in Monaco for this season�s Champions League group stage.
Modric started out at Dinamo Zagreb and then had four years with Tottenham Hotspur before Real prised him away six years ago.
His success here, after he was named the best player at the World Cup, confirms that he should be among the favourites to win the Ballon d�Or, a prize dominated by Ronaldo and Lionel Messi over the last decade. Salah was in attendance at the Grimaldi Forum on Thursday, but Ronaldo, now with Juventus, was not there.
�I�m sorry that he couldn�t be here. I am sure there is a reason why he couldn�t come. I would have liked to see him. Hopefully we will see each other soon somewhere else,� said Modric of his old colleague. � AFP