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Everything wrong with The Best 2018

The Best: Everything wrong about the FIFA Football Awards 2018

September 26, 2018 By Ali M.
Nearly two days have gone by since the gala in London but not many have forgotten how big of a farce it was.

The Best 2018 was one of the most anticipated award galas in recent years. The controversy surrounding the three finalists had partially been forgotten and all eyes were on whether Luka Modric would end the dominance of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

While the Croatian midfielder did achieve that, a lot of other events smeared the FIFA Football Awards in mockery. Nearly two days have passed, but the shock over several decisions has not died down. Here's everything that was wrong with The Best 2018.

Modric's success raised several questions

This is not an argument against the midfielder's claim over the award. Some felt he deserved it; others disagreed, but it's merely a matter of opinions. It was refreshing to see someone new lift this title, but Luka's success does raise questions.

Luka Modric, Real Madrid, Croatia, FIFA Football Awards

If Modric deserved this title due to his Champions League and World Cup exploits, then surely there was a case for Raphael Varane. He achieved everything the Croat and Ronaldo did in Europe and went the extra mile by actually clinching the World Cup.

While he is not the defender grabbing the headlines at Real Madrid -- that title goes to Ramos -- he was crucial to Los Blancos and was the commanding figure in Les Bleus back four. Umtiti may have scored the winning goal in the semis, but it was Varane who kept everything tight at the back.

Even Griezmann and Mbappe would have been good shouts, having won three and four titles in 2018, respectively. Instead, FIFA stuck with their guns and went for Mohamed Salah, a decision which led to the biggest facepalm moment.

The best in the world but not in the world's best XI

FIFA's decision to go with Liverpool's Egyptian star looked all the more ridiculous after the attacker failed to make the FIFPro World XI. Instead, we had Hazard, Mbappe, and Messi alongside Modric and Ronaldo in the world's best eleven. However, the contradictions did not end there.

Thibaut Courtois was named the best goalkeeper by the world's governing body, but ironically, David De Gea was chosen in goal for the FIFPro XI. FIFA had their own idea as to who are the best in the world, but the players voting for this prize disagreed.

Then there were the decisions no one could fathom

Remember how everyone was debating whether Bale's bicycle kick or Cristiano's overhead strike would win the Puskas? Neither did. Instead, Mohamed Salah picked up this prize thanks to his goal against Everton.

This was the decision that no one could fathom. This award may be decided by fan vote, but this year's outcome underlined this flaw in the system. Something trivial as biases should not have influenced the result, especially when there were more worthy candidates.

That effort by Salah in the Merseyside Derby was not even awarded the Goal of the Month in England - that went to a Jermain Defoe strike. Many insisted that was not even Salah's best goal in a Liverpool shirt, which is a fair argument. That might be an opinion, but there is no debating that there were other goals more deserving of this recognition.

Then there was Dani Alves' inclusion in FIFA FIFPro World XI. While he did enjoy success at PSG last term, his season was not outstanding and he was an absentee at the 2018 World Cup. This one raised many eyebrows.

Where does FIFA go from here?

For the most part, the FIFA Football Awards were seen as legit. The latest edition, however, tarnished that reputation. World football's governing body must do everything in their power to avoid a similar farce next year, with better selection process and voting system being viable solutions. Otherwise, The Best will become another joke in the beautiful game.


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