Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric was voted the AIPS Best Male Athlete of 2018, edging tennis star Novak Djokovic in second place. The award for Best Female Athlete went to US gymnastics star Simone Biles: this is the result of a poll by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), where a panel of  359 journalists from 87 countries voted for the Champions of 2018.
Earlier, it was announced that World Cup winners France were voted the Best Team, while the award for the Best Press Facility went to 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. 
Jorge Valdano wrote of Luka Modric that he is a ‘miracle worker,’ a player who reminds us space and time do exist. The Croatian’s talents were globally recognised in 2018 as he excelled for both club and country, orchestrating the game in a simple but lucid manner from the midfield. 
Modric won the Champions League for the third time in a row with his club, Real Madrid, defeating Liverpool 3-1 in May. The 33-year old then led Croatia to the final of the World Cup where France proved too strong, 4-2. The midfielder also became the first player other than Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi to win the FIFA best award since Ricardo Kaká in 2007.
Modric garnered 419 votes, enough to see off runner-up Djokovic on 337 votes and Swiss tennis star Roger Federer in third with 290 votes. 
Luka Modric - football 419 (13.15%)
Novak Djokovic - tennis 337 (10.58%)
Roger Federer - tennis 290 (9.1%)
Kylian Mbappe - football 282 (8.85%)
Lewis Hamilton - formula one 266 (8.35%)
Cristiano Ronaldo  - football 234 (7.34%)
Kamil Sotch - ski jumping 202 (6.34%)
Marcel Hirscher - skiing 159 (4.99%)
LeBron James  - basketball 142 (4.46%)
Martin Fourcade - biathlon 119 (3.7%) 
This was another extraordinary year for Simone Biles, who returned from her sabbatical in 2017 to take the gymnastics world by storm again. The American is rapidly becoming the best gymnast of all time. 
In 2018, during a non-summer Olympic year of competition mired by a harrowing USA gymnastics scandal and personal health issues of her own, Biles won her fifth national championship and in October she dominated the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, collecting another four gold medals, and six in total. That made her the first American gymnast to medal at every event at a world championships. She did so with a kidney stone, after spending the night before qualifying in the hospital.
Biles topped the AIPS poll with 427 votes before runner-up Ester Ledecka, who starred in the snowboarding at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, with 335 votes and Simona Halep in third with 331 votes. 
Simone Biles - gymnastics 427 (13.4%)
Ester Ledecka - snowboarding 335 (10.51%)
Simona Halep - tennis 331 (10.39%)
Ada Hegerberg - football 290 (9.1%)
Serena Williams - tennis 260 (8.16%)
Mikaela Shiffrin - skiing 255 (8%)
Katie Ledecky - swimming 252 (7.91%)
Marit Bjorgen - cross-country skiing 207 (6.5%)
Ekaterina Stefanidi - pole vault 203 (6.37%)
Amandiene Leynaud - handball 179 (5.62%)