Luka Modric won the Ballon d’Or for the first time last night, ending the ten-year dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Modric won the Champions League with Real Madrid and then guided Croatia to the World Cup final in July. He was voted player of the tournament.
“As a kid we have dreams. My dream was to play for a big club and win important trophies,” said Modric, above. “The Ballon d’Or was more than a dream for me and it is an honour and a privilege to hold this trophy.”
Ronaldo came second in the polling, missing out on a record sixth award, followed by France forward Antoine Griezmann. France’s teen star Kylian Mbappe was fourth, with Messi fifth. Brazilian Neymar, third last year, was 12th despite a domestic treble with Paris Saint-Germain.
Lyon’s Ada Hegerberg was crowned the first ever female Ballon d’Or winner but the moment became shrouded in controversy when French DJ Martin Solveig – who was helping host the gala alongside David Ginola – asked the Norwegian to “twerk”. Hegerberg refused and quickly left the stage.