ZAGREB, March 21, 2019 - On the eve of the first game in the European Qualification rounds, AIPS awarded Luka Modric the Best Male Athlete of theyear Trophy. The event, which took place in front of a crowded Press Conference in Zagreb, was dedicated to both the game Croatia-Azerbajan and the Award.
The Trophy was presented to Luka Modric by AIPS Acting Secretary General, Jura Ozmec. He said that it is the first award in 2018 given to Modric as the world's best athlete, rather than the world's best football player. That this must mean something more, because it was given by sports journalists from all five continents.
Modric thanked AIPS members and replied that he is aware of the huge importance of the Award, which means a new obligation from him, to be better in every game.
Here's what we published back in January about the Best Male Athlete 2018:
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%)
AIPS Media, Photo by Drago Sopta (HNS-CFF)