Luka Modric wins 2018 Ballon d'Or

Luka Modric becomes first Croatian to win prestigious Ballon d'Or

Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final.

The midfielder, 33, who helped Croatia reach the men's World Cup final in Russian Federation in the summer, is the first Croatian to win the prestigious prize, which is voted for by journalists.

Luka Modric said he wants to retire at Real Madrid after beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the Ballon d'Or.

The Ballon d'or, voted for by journalists and organised by French magazine France Football, has been dominated by Barcelona's Messi and Ronaldo, first when he was at Manchester United and subsequently with Real Madrid, since 2008.

The talented playmaker saw off competition from France's World Cup stars to end a 10-year stranglehold on the award by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

"It's an unbelievable feeling", said Modric, who is the first Croatian player to win the award.

"But, like I told you, I would change all of this for a World Cup. It's a huge step for women's football", Hegerberg said.

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Hegerberg refused and quickly left the stage. "I dreamed about it, but the Ballon d'Or was more than a childhood dream for me and it's a real honour and a privilege to hold this trophy tonight".

Runners-up Ronaldo, who is now at Juventus, was key to Real Madrid when they retained the Champions League title for the third year in row.

"It is hard to express my emotion and how I feel in words".

France won 4-2, but Modric was named the tournament MVP. Kaka of AC Milan won the award that year. Modric had never previously been in the top three.

Modric helped Croatia reached the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup during the summer.

People are always going to have issues with the Ballon d'Or voting but the aforementioned choices are on another level.

"It's all about how we respect women's football. I let them know, quite clearly, what I found wasn't working".

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