Modric wins 1st Ballon d'Or to end Messi and Ronaldo's reign

Modric wins 1st Ballon d'Or to end Messi and Ronaldo's reign

Ronaldo was second in the polling followed by France forward Antoine Griezmann.

"He told me that I was an important player for him and, above all, that he saw me as a player who could win the Ballon d'Or".

Modric also received the best men's player prize at the FIFA Best awards in September.

Kylian Mbappe, who dazzled for France as Les Bleus triumphed in Russian Federation in the summer, won the newly-formed Kopa award for the best young player. Yes, 19 and already a World Cup victor.

The award is aptly named after former French and Real Madrid great Raymond Kopa, and the victor of the award is also selected by former Ballon d'Or winners.

This is the first time in the last 10 years that neither Ronaldo nor Messi has won the Ballon d'Or.

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Neymar - One of the reasons why Neymar moved to PSG from FC Barcelona was that he wanted to move out of Messi's shadows and possibly win the Ballon d'Or.

"I'm happy that I am the victor, but this award is also for all these players that probably deserved to win and didn't". He was voted player of the tournament.

Kylian Mbappe missed out on a place in the top three too, finishing fourth in the voting, although he did walk away with the inaugural Kopa Trophy.

Croatia lost 4-2 to France in Moscow in the final in July. I keep thinking, I'm trying to get used to being part of this group of exceptional players who have won the Ballon d'Or in history. "It didn't happen, this is a great feeling to win at least this, and very happy for it".

On a historic evening in Paris, the ceremony had a women's category for the first time since its inception in 1956, with Norway's Ada Hegerberg crowned the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or victor. And Salah scored 44 goals in his debut season for Liverpool as well as reaching the Champions League final.

The Ballon d'Or has been awarded by France Football magazine since 1956 and sees their editorial staff put together the 30-man shortlist. The two parted ways in 2016 and have given out separate awards since.

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