Modric Wins The 2018 Ballon d’Or Ending Messi & Ronaldo’s Dominance
Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade.
He is the first Croatian to win the Ballon d’Or; his countryman Davor Suker is the only other Croatian player ever to finish in the top three, in 1998.
“As a kid we all have dreams. My dream was to play for a big club and win important trophies,” Modric told reporters after accepting the award.
“The Ballon d’Or was more than just a dream for me and it is really an honor and a privilege to hold this trophy.”
Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final.
Former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win it.
Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, came second.
Barcelona forward Messi finished fifth, with Atletico Madrid frontman Antoine Griezmann and PSG attacker Kylian Mbappe – both of whom won the World Cup with France – third and fourth respectively.
Modric described Ronaldo and Messi as “phenomenal players”, adding: “To win means I did something really special on the pitch this year, that’s why 2017-18 was the year for me.”
Modric was one of eight Real Madrid players in the top 30, including Wales international Gareth Bale in 17th.
Victory caps a stellar year for Modric, who also was named the world’s top male player at the Best Fifa Football Awards and received the Golden Ball award for the best player at the World Cup.