France's Benjamin Pavard wins World Cup goal of the tournament
PARIS, France - France right-back Benjamin Pavard has won the 2018 World Cup goal of the tournament award for his stunning strike against Argentina, FIFA announced on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old Stuttgart defender ran onto a left-wing cross from Lucas Hernandez and sent a right-footed half-volley spinning into the top corner to level eventual champions France's last-16 tie with Argentina at 2-2 in the 57th minute. France went on to win the game 4-3 before beating Croatia in the final on July 15.
Pavard's effort won a public vote to be named the best of the 169 goals scored in the tournament, seeing off competition from Colombian midfielder Juan Quintero's free-kick against Japan and Luka Modric's goal in Croatia's group-stage thumping of Argentina.
The announcement comes just a day after Pavard's France teammates Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane were included alongside perennial candidates Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on a 10-man shortlist for the FIFA best player award on Tuesday.
Luka Modric was nominated for the prize as well after helping Croatia reach the final, with the Real Madrid midfielder named the player of the tournament in Russia. Belgium duo Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne were also shortlisted along with England striker Harry Kane, in addition to Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah.
However, there was no place for Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar, whose country lost 2-1 to Belgium in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. France coach Didier Deschamps and compatriot Zinedine Zidane, who led Real Madrid to a third successive Champions League title, headlined the 11 candidates in the running for men's coach of the year.
Deschamps became just the third man to lift the World Cup trophy as both a player and a coach, joining an exclusive club featuring Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer. Zlatko Dalic was recognised after Croatia's impressive run to the final, while Gareth Southgate and Roberto Martinez were also among the nominees, having respectively led England and Belgium to the last four.