Modric wins Ballon d'Or to end Ron-Messi dominance

Updated: Dec 05, 2018, 12:29 IST | PA Sport | Paris

First of all, I would like to thank my teammates and coaches at Real Madrid and all the people who work for Real Madrid, all my coaches at teammates with the national team, all those who voted for me and my family, my wife and kids

2018 Ballon d'Or winner Luka Modric (centre) along with women's best player Ada Hegerberg (left) and U-21 Kopa trophy winner Kylian Mbappe pose during a ceremony in Paris on Monday. Pic/AFP
2018 Ballon d'Or winner Luka Modric (centre) along with women's best player Ada Hegerberg (left) and U-21 Kopa trophy winner Kylian Mbappe pose during a ceremony in Paris on Monday. Pic/AFP

Luka Modric admitted he was living his dream after capping a remarkable year by lifting the 2018 Ballon d'Or. The Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder, 33, broke the stranglehold placed on France Football's prestigious award by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the last decade at a ceremony in Paris on Monday evening.

Former Real teammate Ronaldo and Argentinian superstar Messi had each won the Ballon d'Or on five occasions since Brazilian Kaka did so in 2007. In his acceptance speech broadcast by la chaine L'Equipe, Modric said: "It's a unique feeling. I am happy, proud and honoured. I have sensational emotions at the moment that are really hard to describe in words. First of all, I would like to thank my teammates and coaches at Real Madrid and all the people who work for Real Madrid, all my coaches at teammates with the national team, all those who voted for me and my family, my wife and kids.

"They are fulfilling me as a person and helping me in all aspects to be successful as a professional. As a kid, we all have dreams. My dream was to play for a big club, to win important trophies. 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." Modric's recognition was reward for a fine 12 months during which he helped his club to lift the Champions League for the third successive season in May before playing a key role in Croatia's surge to the World Cup final. He won the Golden Ball for his contribution in Russia and was named the Best FIFA Footballer of the Year in September, and is the first Croatian to claim the Ballon d'Or.

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