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Modric beats French World Cup stars to win Ballon d'Or

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Paris, France | Tue, December 4, 2018 | 11:22 am
Modric beats French World Cup stars to win Ballon d'Or 2018 FIFA Men's Ballon d'Or award for best player of the year's Real Madrid's Croatian midfielder Luka Modric (C) pose with his parents after the 2018 FIFA Ballon d'Or award ceremony at the Grand Palais in Paris on December 3, 2018. The winner of the 2018 Ballon d'Or will be revealed at a glittering ceremony in Paris on December 3 evening, with Croatia's Luka Modric and a host of French World Cup winners all hoping to finally end the 10-year duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. FRANCK FIFE / AFP (AFP/Franck Fife)

 

Luka Modric saw off competition from France's World Cup stars as the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder won the Ballon d'Or on Monday to end a 10-year stranglehold on the award by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

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

Ronaldo was a distant second, with France and Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann completing the podium.

Paris Saint-Germain's teenage forward Kylian Mbappe -- who won the Kopa Trophy for the best young player -- came fourth, leaving Messi to settle for fifth position.

Another Frenchman, Modric's Madrid teammate Raphael Varane, was seventh, just behind Liverpool's Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah.

"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 honour and a privilege to hold this trophy." 

Modric -- the oldest winner since Fabio Cannavaro, also 33, in 2006 -- was crowned after an outstanding year in which he starred in the Real side that retained the Champions League before heroically helping drag his country to the final of the World Cup for the first time in their history.

Croatia lost 4-2 to France in Moscow in the final in July.

 

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