Luka Modric wins Ballon d'or 2018, ends Messi-Ronaldo dominance

Florence Fletcher
December 4, 2018

The prize, exchanging hands between Ronaldo and Messi since 2008, was awarded to the Croatian team captain for his role in his club's win of their third consecutive Champions League title, and in leading his country to the World Cup final.

After a shortlist of 3o players was selected by France Football magazine, a jury of worldwide journalists voted on the players they considered first, second and third.

Luka Modric's tearful father has left the football world scrambling for tissues after a beautifully moving tribute at the Ballon d'Or awards ceremony.

The Ballon d'Or has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the past decade, the rivals winning the award five times apiece.

Modric claimed the coveted individual honour at a ceremony in Paris on Monday - ending the domination of Juventus superstar Ronaldo and Barcelona sensation Messi, who had split the past 10 awards.

The first ever Portuguese to win the Ballon d'Or was Eusebio when he managed the feat in 1965.

"When Zidane became Madrid coach in January 2016, he called me to his office one day after training and told me how he saw me as a player and what he expected of me".

Hegerberg, a three-time Women's Champions League victor with Lyon, was selected by a jury of 45 journalists as the cream of the crop in female football.

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The DJ was the subject of criticism on social media following his exchange Hegerberg and quickly apologised for his comments with a video posted on Twitter.

The Ballon d'Or has evaded many great players over the years including the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Paul Scholes and Andrea Pirlo. "My dream was to play for a big club and win important trophies", Modric, who is the first Croatian to win the prestigious award in its 62-year existence, said. "Throughout my career I realised hard work, persistence and belief in yourself in difficult moments are the foundations of success".

Griezmann won both the Europa League and World Cup in 2018, the striker inspirational in the respective triumphs of Atletico Madrid and France.

"I won a Europa League, a World Cup, what else do I have to do?" Leo Messi was surprisingly relegated to fifth place.

The Ballon d'Or was first presented in 1956 and partnered with soccer's world governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association as "The Best" award from 2010 to 2015, until becoming its own entity again. The suggestion clearly made Hegerberg uncomfortable.

Modric celebrates his Ballon d'Or triumph. I don't think the respect has been there.

"Sometimes you have to take tough decisions to stay true to yourself. I do not know".

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