Croatia and Real Madrid player, Luka Modric has been crowned the world’s best male athlete 2018 by the International Sporting Press Association (AIPS) at a gala ceremony in Zagreb on Wednesday.
“I want to thank all of those who voted for me. It is a special honour to receive such special recognition, I feel really happy,” the diminutive midfielder declares after receiving the award from AIPS Secretary General, Jura Ozmec.
The winner of the award was chosen based on a survey of 359 journalists from 87 countries, which relays results in a points system. Modric came in first with 419 points, while tennis players Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer came in second and third, respectively, with 337 points and 290 points.
The AIPS award was the fourth major personal accolade in seven months for the 33-year-old footballer, who also scooped the Balon d’Or, FIFA’s The Best and UEFA’s Player of the Year awards last year after helping Croatia to the runners-up spot at the World Cup and Real Madrid to their third consecutive Champions League title.
Meanwhile, American gymnast Simone Biles was handed the award for 2018’s best female athlete with 427 points, beating Czech skier and snowboarder Ester Ledecká (335 points) and Romanian tennis player Simona Halep (331 points).
The award for the world’s best team in 2018 was handed to the France football team, who beat Modric’s Croatia to win their second World Cup title last summer in Russia.