Luka Modric crowned Ballon d'Or winner to end ten-year Ronaldo/Messi duopoly

Mon, Dec 03 2018

Modric in action for Croatia against the Republic of Ireland in 2014. Credit: Andy McDonnell

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric has been named the Ballon d’Or winner for 2018, ending the ten-year duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The Croatian midfielder played a key role for both his club and country in 2018 as Croatia reached the 2018 World Cup Final in Moscow while a month earlier the 33-year-old helped Real Madrid to their 13th UEFA Champions League title with a win over Liverpool in Kyiv.

Modric fought off competition from five-time winner Ronaldo, who came in second, while Athletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann finished in third.

Messi missed out on a place in the world’s elite top three for the first time in 12 years as the Barcelona superstar finished fifth in the vote.

PSG starlet Kylian Mbappe finished fourth while Mo Salah, Raphael Varane, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Harry Kane concluded the top ten.

Ada Hegerberg of Lyon picked up the inaugural Women’s Balon d’Or while Kylian Mbappe won the first ever Kopa Trophy, which is awarded to the best player in the world under the age of  21.