Luka Modrić has won the 2018 Ballon d'Or in Paris this evening, beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann to the prize. He becomes the first player to break the Messi-Ronaldo stragnlehold the award since Kaka in 2007.
— la chaine L'Équipe (@lachainelequipe) December 3, 2018
The pair have shared all 10 awards since then, with each of them coming away with the prize a record five times. Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten are their closest challengers with three wins.
With both Messi and Ronaldo having somewhat of a down year by their impossibly high standards, Modrić is a deserving recipient. Having won his third consecutive Champions League with Real Madrid in May, he then performed heroics by guiding Croatia all the way to the World Cup final.
It was an incredible achievement for a country of only 4.5million people. While they would ultimately come unstuck in the final against France, Modrić's performances in the tournament clearly had a lasting effect on the Ballon d'Or voters. He also becomes the first Croatian player to win the award.
Having also been named the FIFA World Player of the Year, 2018 will certainly be a year to remember for the 33-year old midfielder.
A 30 man shortlist for the award was revealed in October, with 11 Premier League players amongst the players nominated. Liverpool's Mo Salah was ultimately the highest ranked of these, finishing in 6th place.
Elsewhere, Kylian Mbappé has been named as the inaugural Kopa Trophy winner. The Kopa Trophy is a new prize handed out to the best under-21 player on the planet. Mbappé was clearly head and shoulders above the rest, winning a World Cup with France in the summer. He also finished 4th in Ballon d'Or voting.
— #BallondOr (@francefootball) December 3, 2018
Ballon d'Or Top 10:
- Luka Modrić (Real Madrid)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
- Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
- Kylian Mbappé (PSG)
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
- Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
- Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
- Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham)