Croatia star Luka Modric has won the 2018 Ballon d’Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezman, with Lionel Messi coming fifth.
Ten years after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo began their Ballon d’Or-winning streak, winning five each, Luka Modric finally broke the decade-long domination. It is the first time in 10 years neither Ronaldo nor Messi were recognised as the world’s best player for France Football’s acclaimed award.
Ronaldo, who had scooped the award in the last two years, came second. Modric and Ronaldo were followed by France’s World Cup-winning stars – Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe. Mbappe also won the inaugural Kopa Trophy for youngsters.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s a big pleasure to be here among all these players.
“I am still trying to realise that I have become part of a group of exceptional players to win the Ballon d’Or throughout history,” said Modric after winning the prestigious award.
Modric had a sensational 2018 where he led Real Madrid to their third consecutive Champions League trophy under Zinedine Zidane. Things then became even better when he captained Croatia to their first-ever World Cup final in Russia. Modric was later named the Player of the Tournament.
From the Premier League, there were four players in the top ten. Liverpool star Mohamed Salah was the highest-ranked Premier League player at sixth. Chelsea ace Eden Hazard was in eighth behind Real’s Raphael Varane, with Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne ninth and Spurs striker Harry Kane tenth.
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, dropped to 12th having been voted third best in last year’s poll.