Croatia Court Drops Charges Against Luka Modric

Grant SmithDec 05, 2018

For the first time, France Football is also giving out a women's Ballon d'Or award in addition to the Kopa Trophy, named for French great Raymond Kopa and given to the world's best player under 21.

Luka Modric has beaten off competition from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi to be named the victor of 2018's Ballon d'Or.

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.

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

The rest of the top 10 was rounded out by Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain and France), Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid and France), Eden Hazard (Chelsea and Belgium), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium) and Harry Kane (Tottenham and England). "My dream as a kid was to play for a big club and win trophies and this is a dream", Modrić said after collecting the award.

He was huge as Real Madrid won the Champions League and an inspiring captain and midfield force in driving Croatia to the World Cup final.

FRANCK FIFE  AFP
FRANCK FIFE AFP

Modric went further than Ronaldo in the World Cup and won the tournament's Golden Ball award, add his matched achievements with Ronaldo at club level and you can see why he won.

"Maybe in the past, there are some players who could have won the Ballon d'Or like Xavi, Andres Iniesta or Sneijder but people finally now are looking at someone else", he told BBC Football.

Now Real do have 11 wins in the Ballon d'Or, won by seven players, but four of those were won by Ronaldo and they are one of the most successful sides in Europe so it's no surprise.

Hegerberg is a three-time Women's Champions League victor with Olympic Lyonnais and scored a tournament-record 15 times last season. I want to thank my teammates and coaches at Real Madrid and those with the national team.

Two other Croatians made the final Ballon d'Or classification.

"It is a fantastic day for women's football.it is important to show young girls that they can believe in themselves and I hope they are inspired by this". I didn't really think about it at the time to be honest.

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