Ballon d’Or 2018: Luka Modric wins prestigious award to break Messi-Ronaldo stronghold

Kylian Mbappe won the inaugural Kopa Trophy for the best young player, while Lyon and Norway forward Ada Hegerberg won the first women’s Ballon d’Or

Lawrence Ostlere
Monday 03 December 2018 22:18
Comments
Martin Solveig sparks controversy by asking women’s Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg 'if she can twerk'

Luka Modric has won the men’s Ballon d’Or award, the prestigious prize given to the best football in the world, beating five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo and World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann to the honour at a glamorous ceremony in Paris.

Kylian Mbappe won the inaugural Kopa Trophy for the best young player, while Lyon and Norway forward Ada Hegerberg won the first women’s Ballon d’Or, although there was controversy on stage when French DJ Martin Solveig inappropriately asked if the forward could ”twerk”.

Hegerberg, 23, scored 42 goals in only 25 club games last season as she led Lyon to the Champions League.

Modric proved a crucial part both of Real Madrid’s third successive Champions League triumph, beating Liverpool in the final 3-1, and as captain in Croatia’s impressive run to the World Cup final which earned him the tournament’s Golden Ball.

His talents as a midfielder have long been admired, with a beguiling touch and control of the ball and his ability to spot team-mates’ runs which has made him a popular player to play alongside.

“It’s a unique feeling. I am happy, proud and honoured,” Modric said. “I have sensational emotions at the moment that are really hard to describe in words. First of all, I would like to thank my team-mates and coaches at Real Madrid and all the people who work for Real Madrid, all my coaches at team-mates with the national team, all those who voted for me and of course, my family, my wife and kids.

Luka Modric celebrates with the Ballon d’Or

“They are fulfilling me as a person and helping me in all aspects to be successful as a professional. As a kid, we all have dreams. My dream was to play for a big club, to win important trophies. I dreamed about it, but the Ballon d’Or was more than a childhood dream for me and it’s a real honour and a privilege to hold this trophy tonight.”

The 33-year-old’s prize sees an end to the 10-year duopoly of Messi, who finished fifth overall in his lowest ranking since 2006, and Ronaldo, who came second. France and Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann finished third, with his France team-mate Mbappe fourth.

Mbappe has enjoyed another sensational year, with the 19-year-old integral to Paris Saint-Germain’s title triumph before scoring in the World Cup final as he earned the tournament’s best young player prize.

England captain and Tottenham striker Harry Kane finished 10th in the overall men’s list, behind fellow Premier League stars Kevin De Bruyne (ninth), Eden Hazard (eighth) and Mohamed Salah (sixth), who is the highest ranked African since Samuel Eto’o in 2009.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in