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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Ballon d'Or 2018: Luka Modric pips Cristiano Ronaldo to prize, Lionel Messi only fifth

Croatia and Real Madrid star Modric was among the favourites for victory, having already claimed Fifa's 'The Best' award earlier this year.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe were other potential winners.
Juventus striker Ronaldo and Barcelona forward Messi have both won the top prize, which has been awarded to the best male player every year since 1956, five times from 2008.
Brazilian playmaker Kaka was the last player other than Ronaldo and Messi to be victorious, in 2007 when starring for AC Milan.
But Modric ended that duopoly after storming to victory.
The former Tottenham star hailed Harry Redknapp for helping to unlock his potential.
"Change of position helped me a lot in my career. I used to play more offensively," Modric said.
"When I dropped back, I was able to read the game better and show my creativity. Harry Redknapp made that change."
Former Tottenham player Modric has enjoyed an impressive year for both club and country.
The 33-year-old played an integral role in Real winning a fourth Champions League title in five years and then skippered Croatia to their first World Cup final in Russia.
Croatia were beaten 4-2 by France in Moscow earlier this summer, but Modric reinforced his reputation as one of the best midfielders in the world during the tournament by winning the Golden Ball.
PSG and France forward Mbappe and Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold were two of the 10 nominees for the first Kopa Trophy, which is handed to the best player under the age of 21.
Mbappe won the best young player award.
He gained 110 points, putting him well clear of next-best Christian Pulisic in second on 31 points.
Behind the Borussia Dortmund and USA star was Justin Kluivert, who moved from Ajax to Roma in the summer.
Liverpool's Alexander-Arnold was sixth in the standings.
Lyon and Norway star Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural Women's Ballon d'Or award - although the presentation of the award was dogged by a bizarre request from host Martin Solveig if the striker could TWERK.
Ballon D'or: The top 30 players

1st: Luka Modric (Croatia/ Real Madrid)
2nd: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/ Real Madrid/ Juventus)
3rd: Antoine Griezmann (France/ Atletico Madrid)
4th: Kylian Mbappe (France/ PSG)
5th: Lionel Messi (Argentina/ Barcelona)
6th: Mohamed Salah (Egypt/ Liverpool)
7th: Raphael Varane (France/ Real Madrid)
8th: Eden Hazard (Belgium/ Chelsea)
9th: Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium/ Manchester City)
10th: Harry Kane (England/ Tottenham)
11th: N'Golo Kante (France/ Chelsea)
12th: Neymar (Brazil / PSG)
13th: Luis Suarez (Uruguay / FC Barcelona)
14th: Thibaut Courtois (Belgium / Real Madrid)
15th: Paul Pogba (France / Manchester United)
16th: Sergio Aguero (Argentina / Manchester City)
17th: Gareth Bale (Wales / Real Madrid)
17th: Karim Benzema (France / Real Madrid)
19th: Roberto Firmino (Brazil / Liverpool)
19th: Ivan Rakitic (Croatia / FC Barcelona)
19th: Sergio Ramos (Spain / Real Madrid)
22nd: Edinson Cavani (Uruguay / PSG)
22nd: Sadio Mane (Senegal / Liverpool)
22nd: Marcelo (Brazil / Real Madrid)
25th: Alisson Becker (Brazil / Liverpool)
25th: Mario Mandzukic (Croatia / Juventus)
25th: Jan Oblak (Slovakia / Atletico Madrid)
28th: Diego Godin (Uruguay / Atletico Madrid)
29th: Isco (Spain/ Real Madrid)
29th: Hugo Lloris (France / Tottenham)

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