By Izuchukwu Okosi
Luka Modric claimed the 2018 FIFA Best Player Award Monday evening but for Nigerian football faithful, there was an interesting angle to the glittering event.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles were eliminated at the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia but their participation continues to reverberate and was duly acknowledged Monday evening during the FIFA Best awards in London.
Ahmed Musa’s goals against Iceland in the 2-0 win on June 22, the team’s celebrations on the bench in the same game and the image of a young female Nigerian fan holding aloft the country’s green and white flag in ecstatic mood were captured in the montage that told the story of the tournament held June 14 to July 15.
Interestingly Lionel Messi’s goal in Nigeria’s defeat to Argentina on June 26 was also in the FIFA World Cup film. Messi’s goal was further nominated as one of the best goals of the season albeit the prize went to Mohamed Salah for his goal against Everton.
Best goal of the year went to Egypt and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
The Best coach award presented by Arsene Wenger went to Didier Deschamps
Best goalkeeper award was scooped by former Chelsea, and now Real Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtouis who starred at the 2018 World Cup.
Reynold Pedros, in charge of Olympique Lyon, won best women coach.
Peru fans were voted the best.
David Dea Gea; Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Raphael Varane; N’golo Kante, Luka Modric, Kylian Mbappe Lionel Messi; Cristiano Ronaldo make up the FIFpro XI.
Martha was handed the best women player award.
Luka Modric was expectedly crowned the men’s best player beating Cristiano Ronaldo who was absent from the award ceremony and Mohamed Salah.