Real's Modric beats Ronaldo, Salah to be named Europe's top player
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Real's Modric beats Ronaldo, Salah to be named Europe's top player

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has been named UEFA best men's player, finishing ahead of former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah.

The Croatian beat Ronaldo, last year's winner, who moved to Juventus in July after helping his team win the Champions League final in Kiev against Salah's Liverpool.

Triumph: Croatia's Luka Modric has taken out the UEFA award for the first time.

Triumph: Croatia's Luka Modric has taken out the UEFA award for the first time.Credit:AP

It is the first time Modric, 32, a runner-up in this summer's World Cup, has won the award, with Ronaldo still the all-time leader having won it three times.

"It's an incredible moment for me, I feel really excited and proud of this great award," said Modric.

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"My father always pushed me to fight for my dreams, I owe him a lot for everything. I didn't know I was going to win the award and so I'm really happy.

"I have to thank those who voted for me, my teammates, the club, Real Madrid, my coaches and everyone involved."

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Modric's Madrid teammates Keylor Navas and Sergio Ramos won the best goalkeeper and defender awards respectively, while the Croatian also picked up the midfielder trophy.

Ronaldo was awarded the forward of the season award after finishing as the Champions League's top-scorer with 15 goals in a Real Madrid clean sweep.

However, the Portuguese striker was not at the ceremony to collect his trophy in Monaco.

"We didn't know anything about Cristiano, it surprised us when they told us (he wasn't here), it's his life and he can do what he wants," said Ramos.

Wolfsburg striker Pernille Harder was named UEFA best women's player in Europe at the star-studded ceremony.

Champions League and Europa League coaches plus 55 selected journalists across Europe voted for the winners.

DPA