Croatian International and Real Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric became the first player who is not Ronaldo or Messi to win the Ballond’Or since the Brazilian; Kaka in 2007.
In a ceremony that was held in the French capital, Paris, the 33 year old Croatian capital became the first Croatian to win the highly coveted trophy and also the first from Eastern Europe since Andriy Shevchenko in 2004.
Modric, 33, helped Real Madrid to win a third consecutive Champions League earlier on in May before helping Croatia to their first World Cup final, loosing to France in July where he received the Golden Ball award as the best player in the World Cup tournament.
He saw off competition from Cristiano Ronaldo who finished second and Lionel Messi (5th) who have shared five each for the past one decade.
Speaking at the ceremony, Modric described the feeling as almost unbelievable.
” It’s an unbelievable feeling, and a big pleasure to be here among all these players. I’m still trying to realise that I have become part of a group of exceptional players. To win means I did something really special on the pitch this year, that’s why 2018 was the year for me.”
Earlier this year, Modric was also named the World’s Top Male Player at the Best Fifa Football Awards. He also received the Golden Ball at the World Cup.
The Top 5
1. Luka Modric (Real Madrid and Croatia)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal)
3. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid and France)
4. Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain and France)
5. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)