Luka Modric wins the Ballon d’Or: Real Madrid star ends the decade of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominance
Real Madrid and Croatian midfielder Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade. Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final.
Modric dedicated the award to all the other players who have missed out in the 10 years dominated by Messi and Ronaldo.
“Maybe in the past, there are some players who could have won the Ballon d’Or like Xavi, Andres Iniesta or Sneijder but people finally now are looking at someone else,” he said.
“It’s a unique feeling, I’m happy, proud and it’s an honor,” he said as he accepted the award. “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 as a child, it’s an honor 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.”
Luka Modric was born on 9 September 1985 in the hamlet of Modrici, Zadar in Yugoslavia. Due to the Croatian Independence War, his family was forced to flee the area. He became a refugee. After hard years he joined Dinamo Zagreb. He won three consecutive league titles and domestic cups.
After 5 years, in 2008, he moved to Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur for a club-record transfer fee of £16.5 million.
In 2012 Modric Joined Real Madrid. He became very successful in Spain but 2018 was much more different and successful for him. Modrić became the first Croatian player to win the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award, and by winning the Best FIFA Men’s Player and Ballon d’Or awards, he became the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the awards in more than a decade.
Croatian First League: 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08
Croatian Cup: 2006–07, 2007–08
Croatian Super Cup: 2006
La Liga: 2016–17
Copa del Rey: 2013–14
Supercopa de España: 2012, 2017
UEFA Champions League: 2013–14, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
UEFA Super Cup: 2014, 2016, 2017
FIFA Club World Cup: 2014, 2016, 2018
FIFA World Cup runner-up: 2018