Luka Modric Bags Ballon d’Or Ending Dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

ENDING speculation, Luka Modric has won the Ballon d’Or for 2018 breaking the decade-long dominance of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the soccer world.The Ballon d’Or is “Golden Ball” awarded annually by France Football. Conceived by sports writer Gabriel Hanot, the Ballon d’Or award honours the male player deemed to have performed the best over the previous year based on voting by football journalists. Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric becomes the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade. Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final. “As a kid we all have dreams. My dream was to play for a big club and win important trophies,” Modric said. “The Ballon d’Or was more than just a dream for me and it is really an honor and a privilege to hold this trophy. 2018 is a dream year for me. Throughout my career I realized hard work, persistence and belief in yourself in difficult moments are the foundations of success.”Modric won the Champions League with Real Madrid for the third successive year and was a mainstay in midfield for the Croatian team that reached the final of the World Cup this year in Russia. The 33-year old Croatian was awarded the FIFA’s World Cup 2018 MVP, UEFA’s Player of the Year 2018, Best FIFA Footballer of the Year and the number one player by International Federation of Football History and Statistics.Former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win it.Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, came second.Barcelona forward Messi finished fifth, with Atletico Madrid frontman Antoine Griezmann and PSG attacker Kylian Mbappe – both of whom won the World Cup with France – third and fourth respectively.(with inputs  from The Independent)

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