- The 2017/18 UEFA player awards ceremony took place in Monaco.
The VfL Wolfsburg and Denmark striker, who played in this season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League final in Kyiv, claimed a total of 106 points. Olympique Lyonnais forward Ada Hegerberg, whose team was victorious in this year’s final in the Ukrainian capital, came second with 61 points, while the Norwegian’s clubmate and France international Amandine Henry was third with 41 points.
The jury was composed of coaches from the 12 highest-ranked teams in the latest UEFA women’s national team rankings, together with the coaches of the eight clubs which participated in the quarter-finals of the 2017/18 UEFA Women’s Champions League. Also on the panel were 20 journalists specialising in women’s football who were selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group. The final result was based on the total number of points from the votes cast by the coaches and the journalists.
In a video-recorded message, the 25-year-old Harder said:
"I am extremely proud and honoured to receive this award, as I have always dreamed of playing at the highest level since I was a young kid. I would like to thank in particular my family for their support, as well as my teammates, coaches and staff from the national team. Of course, I would like to say a big thank you to my club VfL Wolfsburg for an amazing season where we continue to play and compete at the highest level."
Real Madrid CF player Luka Modrić was crowned the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year 2017/18 at the same ceremony in Monaco. The Croatian midfielder, who was the architect of his club’s impressive third consecutive UEFA Champions League title last season, wins this award for the first time.
The jury was composed of 80 coaches of the clubs, which participated in the group stages of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, together with 55 journalists selected by the ESM group, representing each of UEFA’s member associations. The final result was based on the total number of points from the votes cast by the coaches and the journalists.
The Croatian international collected a total of 313 points, with former Real Madrid CF and Portugal’s striker Cristiano Ronaldo (223 points) and Liverpool FC and Egypt forward Mohamed Salah (134 points) occupying second and third place respectively.
Receiving the award on stage, the 32-year-old Modrić said:
"It's an incredible moment for me and I feel excited and proud to have won this great award. I would like to thank everyone who voted for me to receive the award, my club, Real Madrid, my coaches and my teammates who support me through the highs and lows. This award belongs to them as well."
The UEFA Player of the Year awards recognise the best players, irrespective of their nationality, who have played for a football club within the territory of a UEFA member national association. The awards are based on players’ performances during the 2017/18 season in all competitions, both domestic and international, and at club and national team levels.
Meanwhile, four players were presented with the UEFA Champions League positional awards during the 2018/19 Champions League group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
The jury for these awards was comprised of the coaches from the 32 clubs, which participated in the group stage of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League, together with 55 journalists selected by the ESM group. The final result was based on the total number of points from the votes cast by the coaches and journalists.
Keylor Navas (Costa Rica, Real Madrid CF) was crowned Best Goalkeeper of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League season, amassing a total of 222 points and finishing ahead of Alisson Becker (Brazil, AS Roma, now at Liverpool FC) with 197 points, and Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus, now at Paris Saint-Germain) with 92 points.
Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid CF) was named Best Defender of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League season for a second successive year with a total of 184 points. Raphaël Varane (France, Real Madrid CF) with 167 points and Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid CF) with 145 points occupied second and third place respectively.
Luka Modrić (Croatia – Real Madrid CF) retained his title as the Best Midfielder of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League season, picking up a total of 347 points, while Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium, Manchester City FC) with 114 points and Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid CF) with 69 points finished in second and third place respectively.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid CF, now at Juventus) was named Best Forward of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League season for the second year running claiming a total of 287 points. Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool FC) came second with 218 points, and Lionel Messi (Argentina, FC Barcelona) was third with 43 points.
Finally, during the Monaco ceremony, English and European football legend David Beckham was presented with the 2018 UEFA President’s Award by UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin for his outstanding career and services to football at both national and club level. Also, the Georgian national team player Guram Kashia received the inaugural UEFA #EqualGame Award aimed at recognising a player who has acted as a role model in promoting diversity, inclusion and accessibility in European football.