Modric ends Ronaldo & Messi Ballon d’Or reign
Luka Modric has won the Ballon d’Or award for the first time and ended the 10-year battle between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Modric won a third successive Champions League title in May with Real Madrid and helped Croatia to their first ever World Cup final, being named player of the tournament despite losing 4-2 to eventual championsFrance. “As a kid we all have dreams. My dream was to play for a big club and win important trophies” “The Ballon d’Or was more than just a dream for me and it is really an honour and a privilege to hold this trophy,” said Modric. The award, voted for by journalists and organised by French magazine France Football, has been dominated by Messi and Ronaldo since 2008. Ronaldo was second in the voting followed by France forward Antoine Griezmann, his national teammate Kylian Mbappe was fourth while Messi was fifth - the first time he has been outside the top three since 2007. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah was sixth, Real Madrid’s Frenchman Raphale Varane was the highest-placed defender in seventh while Premier League trio Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Harry Kane rounded out the top 10. The last player to win the Ballon d’Or before Ronaldo and Messi was Brazil midfielder Kaka with AC Milan in 2007. Modric dislodged Ronaldo as the FIFA world player of the year in September.