Modric Pips Ronaldo To Title
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has become the first player since 2007 other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to win the coveted Ballon D’Or title.
The Croatia international beat title-holder and his former Real Madrid team-mate Ronaldo into second place.
Modric, 33, helped Real to a third successive Champions League title before helping Croatia to reach their first World Cup final in the summer.
“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,” Modric told the BBC.
“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 33-year-old added: “To win means I did something really special on the pitch this year, that’s why 2017-18 was the year for me.”
Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann was in third place and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe finished fourth. Lionel Messi was fifth.
The highest-placed Premier League player was Liverpool’s Mo Salah who finished in sixth place. Other Premier League placings included Eden Hazard in eighth place, Kevin de Bruyne in ninth, Harry Kane in tenth and N’Golo Kante in 11th. Paul Pogba finished in 15th place.
The last person other than Messi and Ronaldo to win the Ballon D’Or was Kaka who won it in 2007.