Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi Ballon d'Or stranglehold over as Luka Modric crowned winner
Ballon d'Or

Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi Ballon d'Or stranglehold over as Luka Modric crowned winner

03/12/2018

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has ended the Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi stranglehold on the Ballon d'Or.

Modric, who led Real to their third consecutive Champions League and reached the World Cup final with Croatia this summer, capped off a memorable 2018 by winning European football's oldest individual prize in a ceremony on Monday.

"As a kid we all have dreams. My dream was to play for a big club and win important trophies," said Modric, who received the award from presenter and former France forward David Ginola during a ceremony at the Grand Palais in Paris. "The Ballon d'Or was more than just a dream for me and it is really an honour and a privilege to hold this trophy."

Modric, 33, finished ahead of 2017 winner Ronaldo of Juventus and Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann for the prize, leaving Messi, who was fifth, outside the top three for the first time since 2006. Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe finished fourth to round out the top five. Brazil star Neymar, who helped PSG to a domestic Treble last season, finished a distant 12th.

Modric was fifth in Ballon d'Or polling last year.

"2018 is a dream year for me," Modric said. "Throughout my career, I realised hard work, persistence and belief in yourself in difficult moments are the foundations of success."

The former Tottenham man is the first Croatian player to ever win the award.

No player other than Ronaldo and Messi had claimed a Ballon d'Or since 2008, with both players winning five apiece over the past decade.

In September, Modric claimed FIFA's The Best award, also given to the world's top player, a prize which Messi and Ronaldo had not lost since 2008.

Other honourees on the night included Mbappe, who took home the first-ever Raymond Kopa Trophy given to the top under-21 player. The 19-year-old became the second-youngest to ever score in a World Cup final as he helped France to their second title this summer. United States and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic finished second.

Lyon's Ada Hegerberg became the first recipient of the Women's Ballon d'Or award. Hegerberg is a three-time Women's Champions League winner with the French side and scored a tournament-record 15 times last season.

France Football, which hands out the Ballon d'Or, and FIFA combined their awards to create the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010. The two parted ways in 2016 and have given out separate awards since.

Ballon d'Or top 10 finishers:

1) Luka Modric (Croatia / Real Madrid)

2) Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal / Juventus)

3) Antoine Griezmann (France / Atletico Madrid)

4) Kylian MbappГ© (France / PSG)

5) Lionel Messi (Argentina / Barcelona)

6) Mohamed Salah (Egypt / Liverpool)

7) RaphaГ«l Varane (France / Real Madrid)

8) Eden Hazard (Belgium / Chelsea)

9) Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium / Manchester City)

10) Harry Kane (England / Tottenham)

Related news

Marco Asensio scores late winner as Real Madrid beat Ajax in first leg

Marco Asensio scores late winner as Real Madrid beat Ajax in first leg

Marco Asensio scored a late winner for Real Madrid in a 2-1 victory at Ajax Amsterdam, who were left to rue a goal disallowed by the video assistant referee (VAR) in their Champions League round-of-16 first leg on Wednesday.

Tottenham hit three past Borussia Dortmund to take control of Champions League tie

Tottenham hit three past Borussia Dortmund to take control of Champions League tie

Tottenham Hotspur will take a commanding lead to the Westfalenstadion next month after beating Borussia Dortmund 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 clash at Wembley.

Manchester United's Paul Pogba sent off as PSG triumph at Old Trafford

Manchester United's Paul Pogba sent off as PSG triumph at Old Trafford

Goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe left Manchester United with a mountain to climb as Paris Saint-Germain won 2-0 at Old Trafford in the Champions League round-of-16 first leg and Paul Pogba was sent off.

Nicolo Zaniolo strikes twice to clinch Roma win over Porto

Nicolo Zaniolo strikes twice to clinch Roma win over Porto

Teenager Nicolo Zaniolo scored a quick-fire double to earn AS Roma a 2-1 win against Porto in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday.

Liverpool to face Bayern Munich, Manchester United draw PSG, Tottenham get Dortmund

Liverpool to face Bayern Munich, Manchester United draw PSG, Tottenham get Dortmund

Manchester United will face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16, while Liverpool have been drawn against Bayern Munich.

Manchester City win group as Leroy Sane double sinks Hoffenheim

Manchester City win group as Leroy Sane double sinks Hoffenheim

Manchester City battled back to winning ways, coming from a goal down to overwhelm Hoffenheim 2-1 in the Champions League with a brilliant Leroy Sane double that ensured they progressed to the last-16 as winners of Group F on Wednesday.

Manchester United fall to Valencia, miss chance to win Champions League group

Manchester United fall to Valencia, miss chance to win Champions League group

Manchester United endured an undignified end to their topsy-turvy Champions League group stage campaign by losing 2-1 at already-eliminated Valencia on Wednesday and missing their chance of topping Group H.

Nabil Fekir helps Lyon draw with Shakhtar, book UCL knockout spot

Nabil Fekir helps Lyon draw with Shakhtar, book UCL knockout spot

Olympique Lyonnais earned the point they required to book their place in the Champions League last 16 but needed Nabil Fekir's equaliser 20 minutes into the second half to salvage a 1-1 draw away to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Young Boys stun Juventus with brace from Guillaume Hoarau

Young Boys stun Juventus with brace from Guillaume Hoarau

Two goals from striker Guillaume Hoarau led Young Boys to a shock 2-1 Champions League win over already-qualified Juventus on Wednesday to hand the Serie A side their first away defeat in a competitive match for over a year.

RELATED NEWS

Marco Asensio scores late winner as Real Madrid beat Ajax in first leg
Ajax 1 - 2 Real Madrid

Marco Asensio scores late winner as Real Madrid beat Ajax in first leg

Marco Asensio scored a late winner for Real Madrid in a 2-1 victory at Ajax Amsterdam, who were left to rue a goal disallowed by the video assistant referee (VAR) in their Champions League round-of-16 first leg on Wednesday.

Tottenham hit three past Borussia Dortmund to take control of Champions League tie
Tottenham 3 - 0 Borussia Dortmund

Tottenham hit three past Borussia Dortmund to take control of Champions League tie

Tottenham Hotspur will take a commanding lead to the Westfalenstadion next month after beating Borussia Dortmund 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 clash at Wembley.

Manchester United's Paul Pogba sent off as PSG triumph at Old Trafford
Manchester United 0 - 2 PSG

Manchester United's Paul Pogba sent off as PSG triumph at Old Trafford

Goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe left Manchester United with a mountain to climb as Paris Saint-Germain won 2-0 at Old Trafford in the Champions League round-of-16 first leg and Paul Pogba was sent off.

Nicolo Zaniolo strikes twice to clinch Roma win over Porto
Roma 2 - 1 Porto

Nicolo Zaniolo strikes twice to clinch Roma win over Porto

Teenager Nicolo Zaniolo scored a quick-fire double to earn AS Roma a 2-1 win against Porto in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday.

Liverpool to face Bayern Munich, Manchester United draw PSG, Tottenham get Dortmund
Champions League draw

Liverpool to face Bayern Munich, Manchester United draw PSG, Tottenham get Dortmund

Manchester United will face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16, while Liverpool have been drawn against Bayern Munich.

Manchester City win group as Leroy Sane double sinks Hoffenheim
Manchester City 2 - 1 Hoffenheim

Manchester City win group as Leroy Sane double sinks Hoffenheim

Manchester City battled back to winning ways, coming from a goal down to overwhelm Hoffenheim 2-1 in the Champions League with a brilliant Leroy Sane double that ensured they progressed to the last-16 as winners of Group F on Wednesday.

Manchester United fall to Valencia, miss chance to win Champions League group
Valencia 2 - 1 Manchester United

Manchester United fall to Valencia, miss chance to win Champions League group

Manchester United endured an undignified end to their topsy-turvy Champions League group stage campaign by losing 2-1 at already-eliminated Valencia on Wednesday and missing their chance of topping Group H.

Nabil Fekir helps Lyon draw with Shakhtar, book UCL knockout spot
Shakhtar 1 - 1 Lyon

Nabil Fekir helps Lyon draw with Shakhtar, book UCL knockout spot

Olympique Lyonnais earned the point they required to book their place in the Champions League last 16 but needed Nabil Fekir's equaliser 20 minutes into the second half to salvage a 1-1 draw away to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Young Boys stun Juventus with brace from Guillaume Hoarau
Young Boys 2 - 1 Juventus

Young Boys stun Juventus with brace from Guillaume Hoarau

Two goals from striker Guillaume Hoarau led Young Boys to a shock 2-1 Champions League win over already-qualified Juventus on Wednesday to hand the Serie A side their first away defeat in a competitive match for over a year.