Croatia and Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric has won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player besides Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade.

Modric, 33, won the Champions League with Real in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final, where they lost to France.

Ronaldo, who again snubbed the awards ceremony, just as he did with the FIFA awards, came second.

Dynamic French duo Antoine Griezmann and  Kylian Mbappe, world cup winners with France, finished third and fourth respectively.

Messi finished an embarrassing (by his high standards) fifth – the first time in twelve years he would finish outside the top three.

Modric said:

“Maybe in the past there are some players who could have won the Ballon d’Or like Xavi, Andres Iniesta or [Wesley] Sneijder but people finally now are looking at someone else,” he said.

“This award is for all the players who probably deserved to win it and didn’t. It was a really special year for me.

“It is difficult to express my emotion and how I feel in words. It is something unique for me. It was very special.”

The award concludes a spectacular 2018 for Modric, who was earlier named the world’s best male player at the Best Fifa Football Awards and received the Golden Ball award for the best player at the World Cup.

Ballon d’or Top 10

1. Luka Modric (Real Madrid and Croatia)

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal)

3. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid and France)

4. Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain and France)

5. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)

6. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)

7. Raphael Varane (Real Madrid and France)

8. Eden Hazard (Chelsea and Belgium)

9. Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium)

10. Harry Kane (Tottenham and England)


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