Luka Modric wins Ballon d'Or, ending decade of Ronaldo and Messi triumphs

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The potential is scary and Mbappe won the best young player award at the 2018 ceremony.

Cristiano Ronaldo and arch-rival Lionel Messi have won the award five times each over the past 10 years.

The 33-year-old was instrumental as Real clinched a third successive Champions League trophy last season.

Rather, the Barcelona star finished in 5th position.

Norwegian forward Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or.

"To change position allowed me to develop my game, before I was more an offensive player", said Modric, who won a third consecutive Champions League title with Madrid this year.

The former Tottenham Hotspur player is the first Croatian player to ever win the award.

A huge surprise was Lionel Messi's positions in his homeland Argentina and the country he has played his football in for 14 years, Spain.

However, for all of Mbappe's scintillating play in Russian Federation, it is Real Madrid star Modric who has broken more than a decade of Messi-Ronaldo dominance.

Luka Modric Real Madrid
Luka Modrić wins the 2018 Ballon d'Or

Many will say that I say this only because I am his friend, but no.

"The club show me a lot of affection and I'd like to retire at Real Madrid".

As decided by France Football, the eminent magazine, criteria for Ballon d'Or selection are: individual and collective performances (honours) in 2018; player's class (skills and fair play); and player's career.

Ronaldo was second, with France and Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann completing the podium. "I'm as surprised as anyone that he's not on the Ballon d'Or podium", Valverde said at his pre-match press conference."It's odd, he was the best player in the Champions League, but we don't decide these things, it's UEFA". "It's a pleasure to watch him out on the pitch and the way he controls the ball, passes it and shoots". Alongside the 33-year-old, French youngster Kylian Mbappe was named the victor of Kopa Trophy for young player of the year.

Mbappe and Griezmann scored in the 4-2 World Cup final win against Croatia.

With the result widely known even before the ceremony, World Cup 2018 victor Griezmann said on his way into the building: "It's a pity that a Frenchman didn't win".

The French-speaking nation did put a Frenchman at the top of their list but not a member of the World Cup winning squad.

How did the Ballon d'Or voting work? He had a great year. 'I'm very happy and grateful to everyone who recognised my journey. I'd like to have the Ballon d'Or, of course.

On a historic evening in Paris, the ceremony had a women's category for the first time since its inception in 1956, with Norway's Ada Hegerberg crowned the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or victor. The two parted ways in 2016 and have given out separate awards since.

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