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Modric beats Ronaldo, Salah to FIFA best player award

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Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric won FIFA’s best player award in London on Monday. Modric pipped Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo to the title. The 33-year-old helped Real Madrid win a third straight Champions League title last season. He then led Croatia to their first ever World Cup final in Russia, which they lost 4-2 to France.
“This award is not just mine. It is my team mates’ from Real Madrid and Croatia. Without my coaches, I would not have won this and without my family I would not be the player I am today,” said 33-year-old Modric.
“At this particular moment, I would like to mention my footballing idol and captain of Croatia generation 1998 and their first participation (at the World Cup finals as Croatia) and bronze in France,” Modric said. “He was my big inspiration and that team gave us belief that we could achieve something great in Russia. Hopefully we can be the same for next generations.”
“It is very important, because for such a small country to win the best player award, it’s something amazing and that shows other small countries that everything is possible,” Modric said. “You just need to believe and to work for it. And that all dreams could come true.”
Modric is the first player since Kaka in 2007 to beat Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to FIFA’s top prize, both of whom were not present at the award ceremony. Earlier, Ronaldo had also missed UEFA’s award show where Modric pipped him to the men’s player of the year award.
“We knew we were surrounded by two aliens that were just sharing these awards,” Real Madrid and Spain defender Sergio Ramos said. “But I think it is also very positive to recognize the work, the career and the season of players that are not just strikers. I am really happy for Luka Modric”.
Brazil great Marta won The Best Women’s player of the year award. This is her sixth award, having won the World Player of the Year five consecutive times between 2006 and 2010.
France’s World Cup winning coach Didier Deschamps was chosen as best men’s coach, pipping his former team mate Zinedine Zidane to the title. Deschamps became only the third person to lift the World Cup as both a player and a coach in the men’s game in Russia. Egypt and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah won the Puskas award for the best goal of the year. His goal for Liverpool against Everton in the Premier League won the best goal of the year, which is voted for by fans, ahead of Gareth Bale’s spectacular overhead kick for Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
The FIFPro team of the year was also announced at the FIFA Best ceremony, wherein the goalkeeper of the team was Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois. The defenders were Dani Alves, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo while the forwards were Modric, N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard, Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Peru’s supporters won the FIFA Fan Award and German Lennart Thy, who plays for Turkish club BB Erzurumspor, won the FIFA Fair Play Award after donating stem cells to help a leukemia patient.
Best Men’s Player: Luka Modric
Best Women’s Player: Marta
Best Men’s Coach: Didier Deschamps
Best Women’s Coach: Reynald Pedros
Puskas Award: Mohamed Salah
Best Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois
Best Fan: Peru fans at the World Cup
Fair Play Award: Lennart Thy
FIFAPro World XI: David De Gea, Dani Alves, Marcelo, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, N’Golo Kante, Lionel Messi, Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo.


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Chahal registers best ODI bowling figures by a spinner Down Under

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Mumbai :Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal on Friday recorded the best bowling figures by a spinner in an ODI clash in Australia, during the series-decider against the Aussies in Melbourne.

Chahal picked six wickets while conceding just 42 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), registering a dominant performance against the hosts, in a crucial clash. He also became the first spinner to pick six wickets in an ODI in Australia.

The bowler’s excellent performance certainly played a key role in India restricting Australia to a total of just 230.

 

The 28-year-old cricketer further equalled the best-ever ODI figures registered by any bowler in an ODI clash in Australia, alongside former Indian fast-bowler Ajit Agarkar.

Agarkar had accumulated the same tally as recorded by Chahal, against the hosts at the same venue, back in 2004.

Australian paceman Mitchell Starc enjoys a bowling tally, which trails the figures registered by the duo by a single run, having picked six wickets for 43 runs against India at the MCG, back in 2015.

English fast-bowler Chris Woakes is the fourth name on the list, after accumulating figures of 6/45 against Australia in Brisbane, 2011.

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Phogat becomes first Indian nominated for Laureus Awards

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Mumbai: Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian to receive a nomination in the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Monica on 18 February.

The 24-year-old Indian, who made a sensational comeback after battling a long injury lay-off to win a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Jakarta Asian Games in 2018, has been nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year.

The Haryana wrestler, who was stretchered off after dislocating her knee during the quarterfinals of 50kg freestyle event at the 2016 Olympic Games, has been nominated alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years.

 

Also nominated are four inspirational Winter Olympic athletes; Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, US ski racing legend Lindsey Vonn and Dutch Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee.

The last time an Indian sporting feat made its way to the Laureus World Sports Awards was in 2004 when the Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team shared the Laureus Sport for Good Award for playing an International match despite political tensions between the two countries.

Most recently, Magic Bus from India won the Laureus Sport for Good award in 2014. However, Vinesh makes history as the first Indian athlete to be nominated in one of the seven main categories at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

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All foreign stars will play PSL ties in Pakistan, says Mani

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LAHORE: All star cricketers will come to Pakistan to play in the eight matches of the fourth Pakistan Super League (PSL) scheduled for Karachi and Lahore, chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani said.

The PSL matches will be staged from Feb 14 to March 17 at three venues — Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi — in the United Arab Emirates before the remaining fixtures move to Pakistan with Karachi staging five games, including the final, and Lahore three.

Talking to media on sidelines of a friendly cricket match between the Sports Journalists Association of Lahore (SJAL) and the UK-based Pakistani journalists at the Gaddafi Stadium, Mani said a good number of star cricketers had signed up in the six PSL franchises.

 

However, because of security concerns, prominent overseas players have been reluctant to travel to Pakistan. But with the passage of time, the number of prominent cricketers willing to visit Pakistan has risen. In the recent development the ex-South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers has already pledged to play two matches of Lahore Qalandars in Lahore on March 9 and 10.

To a query, Mani said the talks with Cricket Australia are still on to convince them to send their national side to Pakistan for two games of the five-match One-day International series in the UAE in March despite reports of Australia’s expressing their reluctance regarding playing here.

The PCB chief declared that he has persuaded CA to send a security delegation to assess the current situation in Pakistan before taking a final decision, which is expected to be taken before the PSL begins in the second week of February.

Mani further said that talks were on with the cricket boards of South Africa and England to send different age-group teams to Pakistan.

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