Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has this evening been named as the latest winner of the Ballon D’Or.
Ronaldo & Messi dominate
The Ballon D’Or, awarded by France Football, marks the most prestigious individual prize in world football.
The award is handed out based on the calendar year up to December, and is intended to reward the standout player across the globe for the previous 11 months.
The Ballon D’Or has been absolutely dominated by former Clasico rivals Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo every year since 2008, with the latter having taken home 4 of the last 5 accolades.
However, as was announced a short time ago, the stranglehold of Messi and Ronaldo on the Ballon D’Or has officially been broken.
The 2018 edition of the award has been handed to Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric.
— #ballondor (@francefootball) December 3, 2018
Veteran midfielder Modric has enjoyed a stunning calendar year to date.
The 33-year-old played an integral role in Real Madrid’s Champions League triumph, before also going on to enjoy one of the finest individual World Cup campaigns in recent history.
The former Tottenham man led by example for Zlatko Dalić’s Croatia in Russia, consistently dominating proceedings in the middle of the park to help guide his country to the World Cup final.
Though Croatia eventually fell to a 4-2 defeat to France in the competition’s showpiece, Modric nevertheless picked up the Golden Ball as the best player at the World Cup, a just reward for his other-worldly efforts.
As such, with a Champions League crown, World Cup runners-up medal and the Golden Ball under his belt over the last 12 months, during which time Modric established himself in the eyes of most as the unquestioned finest midfielder on the planet, few will argue against the point that the Real Madrid man is fully deserving of his place in the history books as the latest winner of the Ballon D’Or.
Ronaldo runner-up, Messi in 5th
Meanwhile, finishing as runner-up to Modric on the podium was former Blancos’ teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann rounds out the award’s top 3, with French teammate Kylian Mbappe in 4th.
5-time winner Lionel Messi, meanwhile, has to make do with 5th spot on the Ballon D’Or list.
And the remainder of the top 10 is as follows:
6. Mohamed Salah
7. Raphael Varane
8. Eden Hazard
9. Kevin De Bruyne
10. Harry Kane