The Year of Luka: Modrić Wins France Football’s Ballon d’Or!

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

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Slobodan Kadić

December 3, 2018 – Luka Modrić has become the first Croatian to win the most prestigious award in football – the Ballon d’Or

Croatia captain and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić is the winner of France Football’s Ballon d’Or, which was awarded at the Grand Palais in Paris on Monday. He is now officially the best footballer in the world, which rounds off the most incredible season of his career.

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The new ‘King of Football’ has thus broken the decade-long Ballon d’Or trend of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The mother of all football awards comes after Modrić won the Golden Ball at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and was named the best footballer in Europe and the world by UEFA and FIFA

“The best things never come easy,” said Luka after accepting the award. “It is an honor, a pleasure, and I still can’t believe this happened.”

Luka Modrić arrived in Paris on the private plane of Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez. Alongside the Croatian footballer was captain of Real Madrid Sergio Ramos, former captain Raul Gonzalez, and Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos. Luka’s father Stipe, his wife Vanja, and his three children were also by his side. 

Modrić was the favorite to win the award after his performance at the World Cup and his fourth Champions League title with Real Madrid. The winner was also ‘leaked’ by the media on Monday afternoon.

Earlier this week, Luka was also named the best player in the world by the International Federation of Football & Statistics – and he was even selected as the ‘Sportsman of the Year’ by lifestyle magazine GQ! 

Luka Modrić is the first Croatian footballer ever to win the award. Mario Mandžukić and Ivan Rakitić took 25th and 19th place on the Ballon d’Or list. 

The Ballon d’Or winner was selected by 200 sports journalists from around the world. The criteria included both individual and team performances (titles and trophies), the player’s class (talent and fair play), and the player’s overall career. With a list of 30 players, each jury member chose their top five and ranked them using a point system: 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1. 

To read more about the best footballer in the world, follow TCN’s dedicated page here


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