Croatian midfielder Luka Modric has ended the decade-long dominance of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d’Or 2018 held in Paris on Monday.
Luca Modric has broken the 10 years duopoly held by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to become the first last player to win the Ballon d’Or award.
The Real Madrid midfielder overtook former teammate Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann to win the award for the first time. Messi netted 49 goals for club and country, leading his side to win the La Liga title but a poor World Cup show with Argentina deprived him of the prestigious award this year.
“As a kid we all have dreams. My dream was to play for a big club and win important trophies,” Modric said. “The Ballon d’Or was more than just a dream for me and it is really an honor and a privilege to hold this trophy. 2018 is a dream year for me. Throughout my career I realized hard work, persistence and belief in yourself in difficult moments are the foundations of success.”
Modric won the Champions League with Real Madrid for the third successive year and was a mainstay in midfield for the Croatian team that reached the final of the World Cup this year in Russia. The 33-year old Croatian was awarded the FIFA’s World Cup 2018 MVP, UEFA’s Player of the Year 2018, Best FIFA Footballer of the Year and the number one player by International Federation of Football History and Statistics.
Runner-up Ronaldo, who is now at Juventus, was key to Real Madrid when they retained the Champions League title for the third year in a row. Griezmann, on the other hand, helped his country France to win the World Cup during the summer after claiming the Europa League and the Uefa Super Cup titles with Atletico Madrid.
Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe, who helped France in winning the World Cup, was awarded the Kopa award for the best young player, overtaking national teammates Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann.
Modric was joined in Paris by his team delegation, led by Florentino Perez and his team captain Sergio Ramos. Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo, however, gave the ceremony a miss.
BALLON D’OR LIST IN FULL
1. Luka Modric (Real Madrid/CRO)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Juventus/POR)
3. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/FRA)
4. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA)
5. Lionel Messi (Barcelona/ARG)
6. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool/EGY)
7. Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/FRA)
8. Eden Hazard (Chelsea/BEL)
9. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City/BEL)
10. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG)
11. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/FRA)
12. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain/BRA
13. Luis Suarez (Barcelona/URU)
14. Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea/Real Madrid/BEL)
15. Paul Pogba (Manchester United/FRA)
16. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City/ARG)
=17. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid/WAL)
=17. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/FRA)
=19. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool/BRA)
=19. Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona/CRO)
=19. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/ESP)
=22. Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain/URU)
=22. Sadio Mane (Liverpool/SEN)
=22. Marcelo (Real Madrid/BRA)
=25. Alisson Becker (Roma/Liverpool/BRA)
=25. Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid/SLO)
=25. Mario Mandzukic (Juventus/CRO)
28. Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid/URU)
=29. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/FRA)
=29. Isco (Real Madrid/ESP)