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All signs point to Modric

Luka Modric, Mohamed Salah or Cristiano Ronaldo will be crowned the best player in the world this year by FIFA at their ceremony in London on Monday, after a voting process involving fans, national team coaches and captains and journalists from across the globe.

The indications suggest that Real Madrid midfielder Modric is the favourite, having also won the World Cup's Golden Ball and won UEFA's Player of the Year award.

The absence of Cristiano Ronaldo from the gala has only served to further fuel the speculation.

Witness Luka Modric's high talented football from Santiago Bernabéu best seats as Real Madrid take on Atlético de Madrid in the Madrilenean Derby for LaLiga Round 7 next Saturday (20:45h)! 

Voting is now closed and whilst other awards have last minute changes, it is not the case for The Best, where an external company verifies results to ensure that there is no undue influences.

Debate is guaranteed, particularly after Cristiano Ronaldo's unannounced absence in Monaco for UEFA's award ceremony - when he discovered that he was not the player of the year.

After his recent sending off in the Champions League for Juventus against Valencia, there is yet more in the love-hate relationship between him and the authorities.

Witness Luka Modric's high talented football from Santiago Bernabéu best seats as Real Madrid take on Atlético de Madrid in the Madrilenean Derby for LaLiga Round 7 next Saturday (20:45h)! 

Now, as MARCA have discovered from sources close to the player, he will not travel to London as had previously been expected.

Until now, he had a complete monopoly on The Best awards, with the now Juventus player having won the past two awards whilst a Real Madrid superstar.

His runner-up on both of those occasions, Lionel Messi, is not in the top three this time around and neither are the third placed players from either previous edition, Neymar and Antoine Griezmann.

Witness Luka Modric's high talented football from Santiago Bernabéu best seats as Real Madrid take on Atlético de Madrid in the Madrilenean Derby for LaLiga Round 7 next Saturday (20:45h)! 

With no Cristiano in London, the bets are on Luka Modric having won the Champions League with Real Madrid and reached the World Cup final with Croatia, only to be beaten despite his spectacular performances.

The Best Coach award will be blue, with Didier Deschamps likely to be the victor following World Cup victory, though there is also competition from Zinedine Zidane to retain his crown or Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic.

The best goalkeeper award will be fought for between Thibaut Courtois, Kasper Schmeichel and Hugo Lloris.

Witness Luka Modric's high talented football from Santiago Bernabéu best seats as Real Madrid take on Atlético de Madrid in the Madrilenean Derby for LaLiga Round 7 next Saturday (20:45h)! 

In the women's category, Lyon duo Ada Hegerberg and Dzsenifer Marozsan will fight with Orlando Pride's Marta for the crown, whilst the coaching award will be for Lyon's Reynald Pedros, Japan's Asako Takakura or the Netherlands' Sarina Weigman.

Gareth Bale, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Benjamin Pavard, Ricardo Quaresma, Denis Cheryshev, Lazaros Christodoupoulos, Giorgian de Arrascaeta and Riley McGee are the other nominees, for the Puskas Award for goal of the year, with Messi the favourite for his World Cup strike against Nigeria.

In the final category, for best support, fans of Peru, Chilean side Sebastican Carrera and then national team fans of Japan and Senegal together will see which of the trio will come out on top.

Witness Luka Modric's high talented football from Santiago Bernabéu best seats as Real Madrid take on Atlético de Madrid in the Madrilenean Derby for LaLiga Round 7 next Saturday (20:45h)! 

Source: Marca / José Félix Díaz

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