Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder, Luka Modric, has been crowned world’s best player at 2018 Ballon d’Or awards ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Modric claimed the prestigious award after his impressive performance for both club and country this year to put an end to the 10-years of Ballon d’Or dominance between Messi and Ronaldo.
“It’s a unique feeling, I’m happy, proud and it’s an honour,” he said as he accepted the award. “[There are] extraordinary emotions at the moment.
“I just want to thank all those who helped me to be here tonight, I thank my team-mates, my coaches, the staff and Real Madrid, all those who work there, the coaches and team-mates in the national team, the ones who voted for me and my family, which allows me to blossom as a person.
“Always have dreams, I wanted to play in a big club, win titles, the Ballon d’Or is all I could dream [about] as a child, it’s an honour to win it tonight.
“It’s a great pleasure to be here around these players. 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’s a great pleasure to be part of this group.
“Throughout my career I understood that work, persistence, believing in yourself, is the basis for expressing your talent. I like a saying – the best is never easy. For me, it was not easy. It was necessary to seize the opportunities.”
The midfielder believes changing his role in midfield has been a turning point in his career, saying it all came together while he was at Tottenham.
“Changing position allowed me to develop my game, before I was more an offensive player. When I retreated, I had a better vision of the game, I could better express my creativity, my game. In my second year in Tottenham, I played midfielder and I felt better in the middle.”
Modric, who also won FIFA’s Best Men’s Player award this year, finished ahead of his former Madrid team-mate Ronaldo in the vote, making the Portuguese icon settle for second place for the first time in three years.
France star Griezmann took third place in the poll, with fellow World Cup winner Mbappe was close behind. Messi, meanwhile, dropped outside the top two for the first time in 11 years and came in fifth this time.