Real Madrid and Croatia’s midfielder Luka Modric The gifted playmaker saw off competition from France’s World Cup start to end a 10-year stranglehold on the award by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Luka Modric, 33, was announced yesterday as the winner of the prestigious prize at a blossom ceremony at Paris Grand Palais ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and French World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann.
Christiano Ronaldo was a distant second, with France and Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann completing the podium.
Paris Saint-Germain’s young forward Kylian Mbappe — who also won the Kopa Trophy for the best young player — came fourth, leaving Barcelona star Messi to settle for fifth position.
Another Frenchman, Modric’s Madrid team mate Raphael Varane, was on seventh position, just behind Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah.
As a child 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.
Luka Modric — the oldest winner since Fabio Cannavaro, who was 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 who lost 4-2 to France in Moscow in the final in July.