The Croatian World Cup finalist, Luka Modric, has won the 2018 Balon d’Or, becoming the first player other than Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the reward in more than a decade.
The Real Madrid and Croatian midfielder won his third successive Champions League in May before playing a vital role in helping Croatia reach the final of the World Cup.
His former teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo, came in at second whereas Messi, uncharacteristically, was voted in 5th place.
With France lifting the 2018 World Cup, they had a fair few nominations for the Ballon d’Or: Atletico Madrid frontman Antoine Griezmann and PSG attacker Kylian Mbappe finished third and fourth respectively.
Luka Modric has finally broken the Ronaldo-Messi domination as the last player to win a Ballon d’Or apart from them was former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka in 2007.
After claiming the award, Modric said:
Maybe in the past there are some players who could have won the Ballon d’Or like Xavi, Andres Iniesta or [Wesley] Sneijder but people finally now are looking at someone else.
This award is for all the players who probably deserved to win it and didn’t. It was a really special year for me.
It is difficult to express my emotion and how I feel in words. It is something unique for me. It was very special.
- Luka Modric (Real Madrid and Croatia)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal)
- Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid and France)
- Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain and France)
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)
- Raphael Varane (Real Madrid and France)
- Eden Hazard (Chelsea and Belgium)
- Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham and England)