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Luka Modric wins Ballon d'Or to cap brilliant 2018

By Opta
Croatia and Real Madrid star Luka Modric

Paris, December 4: Luka Modric has been crowned the winner of the Ballon d'Or, capping a wonderful 2018 for the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder.

The Ballon d'Or has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the past decade, the rivals winning the award five times apiece.

But Modric's impact in Croatia's run to the World Cup final, coupled with Madrid winning the Champions League for the third year in a row, saw him triumph.

Ballon d'Or is for all players who deserved it but didn't win because of Ronaldo and Messi - Modric

Modric - also crowned FIFA's Best Men's Player this year - pipped World Cup winners including Raphael Varane, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann to the award.

Griezmann made it into the top three but he was beaten to second place by Ronaldo, who moved to Serie A champions Juventus from Madrid in July.

Messi finished fifth in the voting, with Griezmann's France team-mate Mbappe a place above the Barcelona star.

There was no place for Neymar in the top 10, with Paul Pogba and Madrid captain Sergio Ramos among the other big names further down the list.

Kaka was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win the Ballon d'Or, the Brazilian claiming the title in 2007 while starring for AC Milan.

Ballon d'Or final placings in full:

29= Isco (Real Madrid), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

28= Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)

25= Alisson (Roma/Liverpool), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)

22= Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Marcelo (Real Madrid)

19= Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

17= Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

16= Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

15= Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

14= Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea/Real Madrid)

13= Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

12= Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)

11= N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)

10= Harry Kane (Tottenham)

9= Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

8= Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

7= Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)

6= Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

5= Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

4= Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

3= Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)

2= Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Juventus)

1= Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

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    Story first published: Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 3:00 [IST]
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