World Cup over Ballon d'Or for disappointed Griezmann

Marcus Newton
December 5, 2018

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. But the best wasn't there, the player who's been king of this sport for years.

Modric, 33, was announced as the victor of the prestigious prize in a glitzy ceremony held in Paris at the Grand Palais, just off the Champs Elysees.

In 2018, Modric won his third consecutive Champions League trophy with club side Real Madrid and led Croatia to their first World Cup final, losing 4-2 to France.

Since Brazilian Kaka was crowned the world's best player in 2007, Messi and Ronaldo have won the Ballon d'Or a record five times each - no other player has won the award more than three times.

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Monday was a big day for many people in the football galaxy.

Modric also received the best men's player prize at the FIFA Best awards in September. He wanted me to open myself more.

The closest a Croatian ever came to the award was Davor Šuker who finished second in 1998 after being the top-scorer at the World Cup in France. "I didn't really consider it a sexual harassment or anything in the moment", she told the BBC.

Taking a stand against what she describes as a lack of respect for female players in Norway, she hasn't played for the national team since it crashed out of the group stage of the Women's European Championship in 2017 without scoring a goal. "It's all about how we respect women's football".

"Sometimes you have to take tough decisions to stay true to yourself".

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