Modric wins Ballon d’Or … ends Messi, Ronaldo dominance



LUKA Modric has been crowned the Ballon d’Or 2018 winner, ending Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s 10-year domination of the coveted award for the game’s best player.

It caps off a memorable year for Modric, who won his third Champions League in a row at Real Madrid before inspiring Croatia to the World Cup final against all odds.

Last year’s winner Ronaldo finished in second after claiming his fifth Champions League title, while Antoine Griezmann surprisingly pipped compatriot Kylian Mbappe into third following France’s World Cup victory.

Messi came in fifth, making it the first time since 2006 that the five-time winner was not in the top three, while Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was the highest-placed Premier League player in sixth.

Six of France’s World Cup winners were named in the top 30. Griezmann topped the lot in third, with Mbappe fourth. Raphael Varane (seventh), N’Golo Kante (11th), Paul Pogba (15th) and Hugo Lloris (joint 29th) also featured.

Griezmann was named man-of-the-match in the 4-2 World Cup final win against Croatia, scoring one and assisting another. Pogba was also on target in that win, so too Mbappe, who picked up the Best Young Player award in Russia. The PSG striker – named the best Under-21 player of 2018 on Monday – also finished fourth in FIFA’s The Best awards earlier this year, with Griezmann down in sixth.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane finished 10th having picked up the World Cup Golden Boot in Russia, where England reached the semi-finals.

He was the fourth-highest Premier League player on the list, with Salah, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne above him.

As well as French trio Kante, Pogba and Lloris, the other Premier League players to make the cut were Sergio Aguero (16th), Roberto Firmino (joint 19th), Sadio Mane (joint 22nd) and Alisson Becker (joint 25th).


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