The best football player in the world Luka Modric got his first Croatian Sportsman of the Year award and discus thrower Sandra Perkovic won her seventh Croatian Sportswoman of the Year title here on Wednesday.
Croatian sports daily newspaper Sportske novosti was handing out the awards for the best man, woman and team for men and women for the 67th year in a row and this time the jury didn’t have an easy task with a group of world and European champions among the candidates.
However, the majority of the votes from 322 sports journalists that took part in the process went to the best footballer of the year and the discus queen who won the European champion title in 2018 for the fifth time in a row. Modric and Perkovic got 299 and 284 votes respectively.
“I am a faithful reader of Sportske novosti since my childhood and I know how prestigious this title is and how hard is to get it because Croatia has so many great sportsmen. It is a really great honor for me to be voted as the best,” Luka Modric said after he received one more personal award in this year.
Modric won the Golden Ball award as the best player of the World Cup in Russia despite the fact that Croatia lost the final against France, followed by UEFA and FIFA awards for the best player and, to top it all, he became the first Croatian to win Golden Ball by France Football.
“Every award is special, every award has its own charm, but if I have to choose one I would pick the silver medal we won in Russia. This was the most emotional one and above all the others,” Modric said.
The team that he captained to the final of the World Cup won the Best Croatian Men’s Team award ahead of the winning Davis Cup team led by Marin Cilic and Borna Coric, rowing world champions Martin and Valent Sinkovic and sailing world champions Mihovil and Sime Fantela that all got special awards as a recognition for their exceptional achievements.
Exceptional is the proper word to describe what discus thrower Sandra Perkovic has done winning European champion title for the fifth time in a row, something that has never been done before.
“This is a proof that Croatia is a little country for great achievements, as our football team and others also has proved,” said Perkovic after she came one title away from equaling famous Croatian skier Janica Kostelic and her record eight Croatian Sportswoman of the Year titles.
Perkovic is determined to equal it next year.
“The main mission is to defend my world champion title and to get back the Diamond League winner trophy that I lost this year,” said Perkovic, setting her goals very high as usual, Xinhua reports.