ibusinesslines.com December 10, 2018

From Benzema to Courtois: The most freaky 2018 Ballon d'Or picks

05 December 2018, 03:19 | Charlene Valdez

Ballon d'Or: Luka Modric breaks decade of Ronaldo and Messi dominance

Croatia's midfielder Luka Modric attempts a shot during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has won the Ballon d'Or award for the first time, ending the 10-year dominance of football superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Modric's recognition was reward for a fine 12 months during which he helped his club to lift the Champions League for the third successive season in May before playing a key role in Croatia's surge to the World Cup final. The 33-year-old midfielder was voted player of the tournament.

"As a kid we have dreams". My dream was to play for a big club, to win important trophies. Marca use Modric's quote of: 'My dream since childhood was to be a player in a great team, the Ballon d'Or is more than a dream'.

It's an interesting thought but obviously there's a couple of holes in the theory, not least because Messi won all five of his awards with Ronaldo at Real whereas the former Sporting winger won his first at Manchester United.

Lionel Messi was notably missing from the top three as he finished fifth behind Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe who sits at fourth place. Brazilian
Neymar, third previous year, was 12th despite a
domestic treble with Paris Saint-Germain.

Canadian forward Christine Sinclair was one of 15 players up for the women's Ballon d'Or, which was won by Norway's Ada Hegerberg. Hegerberg refused and quickly left the stage.

Hegerberg helped Lyon win the women's Champions League title

Victory caps a stellar year for Modric, who also was named the world's top male player at the Best Fifa Football Awards and received the Golden Ball award for the best player at the World Cup.

This year marked a new era for the Ballon d'Or, as France Football handed out the inaugural women's honour.

Mario Mandžukić, who retired from global football after the World Cup, was ranked 25th.

A close friend of Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo has launched a furious attack on the Ballon d'Or. "I want to end this speech with a message to all young girls in the world".

The pair were also nominated for this year's award in a 30-strong shortlist that also featured the likes of France's World Cup winners Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann and Modric's Croatian teammates Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic. "I didn't really consider it a sexual harassment or anything in the moment", she told the BBC. I don't think the respect has been there.

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