Real Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric has won the 2018 Ballon d’Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi.
Modric was key to Real Madrid’s third successive UEFA Champions League trophy. The diminutive midfielder, was also instrumental for his country, Croatia, at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, where they finished second.
Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Raphael Varane stood in better place to grab the award; having won the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia but were beaten to the award by the Croatian.
Speaking after he accepting the award, Modric said: “It’s a unique feeling, I’m happy, proud and it’s an honour.
“I just want to thank all those who helped me to be here tonight, I thank my teammates, my coaches, the staff and Real Madrid, all those who work there, the coaches and teammates 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 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.”
According to GOAL.COM, Modric believes his change in position to a more defensive role in the midfield, while playing for Tottenham, was a key factor that changed his football.
“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.”