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Last Updated : Dec 04, 2018 08:10 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Luka Modric wins Ballon d’Or: Here's a look at the top 10 footballers of 2018

Luka Modric became the first player other than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in over 10 years to win the Ballon d’Or.

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1) Luka Modric | Modric finally managed to end the 10-year stranglehold that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had on the Ballon d’Or. The diminutive Croatian midfielder picked up his third consecutive Champions League trophy with Real Madrid this year before going on to help Croatia reach their first World Cup final. Although Croatia lost 4-2 to France in the finals, Modric claimed the Golden Ball for his heroics at the World Cup. The Ballon d’Or caps a great year for the midfielder who was also named UEFA’s player of the season and FIFA’s best player in September. (Image: Reuters)
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1) Luka Modric | Modric finally managed to end the 10-year stranglehold that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had on the Ballon d’Or. The diminutive Croatian midfielder picked up his third consecutive Champions League trophy with Real Madrid this year before going on to help Croatia reach their first World Cup final. Although Croatia lost 4-2 to France in the finals, Modric claimed the Golden Ball for his heroics at the World Cup. The Ballon d’Or caps a great year for the midfielder who was also named UEFA’s player of the season and FIFA’s best player in September. (Image: Reuters)

2) Cristiano Ronaldo | The five-time Ballon d’Or winner couldn’t break the record and win it for a sixth time as his former Madrid teammate beat him to the coveted prize. Like Modric, Ronaldo too was an integral part of Madrid’s Champions League winning squad but couldn’t do better than a Round of 16 exit with Portugal at the hands of Uruguay at the World Cup. (Image: Reuters)
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2) Cristiano Ronaldo | The five-time Ballon d’Or winner couldn’t break the record and win it for a sixth time as his former Madrid teammate beat him to the coveted prize. Like Modric, Ronaldo too was an integral part of Madrid’s Champions League winning squad but couldn’t do better than a Round of 16 exit with Portugal at the hands of Uruguay at the World Cup. (Image: Reuters)

3) Antoine Griezmann | The Atletico Madrid striker won the Europa League in May before going on to lift the World Cup with France. However, he finished behind both Ronaldo and Modric despite scoring a brace in the Europa final and a goal in the World Cup final against Croatia. Griezmann could be forgiven for giving vent to his frustration post the Ballon d’Or ceremony when he said, “I won an Europa League, a World Cup – what else I have to do, I do not know.” (Image: Reuters)
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3) Antoine Griezmann | The Atletico Madrid striker won the Europa League in May before going on to lift the World Cup with France. However, he finished behind both Ronaldo and Modric despite scoring a brace in the Europa final and a goal in the World Cup final against Croatia. Griezmann could be forgiven for giving vent to his frustration post the Ballon d’Or ceremony when he said, “I won an Europa League, a World Cup – what else I have to do, I do not know.” (Image: Reuters)

4) Kylian Mbappe | Griezmann’s international teammate finished fourth on the Ballon d’Or list but picked up the inaugural Kopa Trophy for young player of the year. The 19-year-old became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since the legendary Pele and has an incredible 32 goals in 56 games for club and country this year. The Kopa trophy - named after French former Ballon d’Or winner Raymond Kopa - is awarded to the best under-21 player and is voted for by former Ballon d’Or winners. (Image: Reuters)
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4) Kylian Mbappe | Griezmann’s international teammate finished fourth on the Ballon d’Or list but picked up the inaugural Kopa Trophy for young player of the year. The 19-year-old became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since the legendary Pele and has an incredible 32 goals in 56 games for club and country this year. The Kopa trophy - named after French former Ballon d’Or winner Raymond Kopa - is awarded to the best under-21 player and is voted for by former Ballon d’Or winners. (Image: Reuters)

5) Lionel Messi | The Argentinean failed to make the top three of the Ballon d’Or for the first time since 2007 as he finished in fifth place. Messi who has five Ballon d’Or trophies to his name, won the La Liga and the Copa del Rey with Barcelona in 2018 but failed to make much of an impact in the Champions League and the World Cup. However, he still has 45 goals from 50 appearances for club and country in 2018 and will be expected to once again break into the top 3 next year. (Image: Reuters)
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5) Lionel Messi | The Argentinean failed to make the top three of the Ballon d’Or for the first time since 2007 as he finished in fifth place. Messi who has five Ballon d’Or trophies to his name, won the La Liga and the Copa del Rey with Barcelona in 2018 but failed to make much of an impact in the Champions League and the World Cup. However, he still has 45 goals from 50 appearances for club and country in 2018 and will be expected to once again break into the top 3 next year. (Image: Reuters)

6) Mohamed Salah | The Egyptian made it to the final-three of FIFA’s Best Men’s Player of the year and UEFA’s Player of the Year awards but couldn’t break into the top five at the Ballon d’Or. The 26-year-old had a fantastic season with Liverpool helping the club reach the finals of the Champions League on his return to the Premier League. (Image: Reuters)
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6) Mohamed Salah | The Egyptian made it to the final-three of FIFA’s Best Men’s Player of the year and UEFA’s Player of the Year awards but couldn’t break into the top five at the Ballon d’Or. The 26-year-old had a fantastic season with Liverpool helping the club reach the finals of the Champions League on his return to the Premier League. (Image: Reuters)

7) Raphael Varane | Among all the top-10 players in the list, Varane is the only one who won both the Champions League and the World Cup in 2018. Varane played every minute of France’s victorious World Cup campaign and was an ever present for Madrid in the knockout stages of the Champions League. He missed Madrid’s trip to Tottenham in the group stage due to injury and their 3-1 loss in that game only underlines his importance in the squad. (Image: Reuters)
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7) Raphael Varane | Among all the top-10 players in the list, Varane is the only one who won both the Champions League and the World Cup in 2018. Varane played every minute of France’s victorious World Cup campaign and was an ever present for Madrid in the knockout stages of the Champions League. He missed Madrid’s trip to Tottenham in the group stage due to injury and their 3-1 loss in that game only underlines his importance in the squad. (Image: Reuters)

8) Eden Hazard | The Belgium captain helped his country to a third place finish at the World Cup which took him to a career best finish of 8th place on the Ballon d’Or list. Hazard recorded the most assists in the World Cup and was voted the second-best player behind Modric in that tournament. (Image: Reuters)
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8) Eden Hazard | The Belgium captain helped his country to a third place finish at the World Cup which took him to a career best finish of 8th place on the Ballon d’Or list. Hazard recorded the most assists in the World Cup and was voted the second-best player behind Modric in that tournament. (Image: Reuters)

9) Kevin de Bruyne | The only other Belgium player on the list, de Bruyne was instrumental in Manchester City lifting the Premier League crown with consummate ease last season. He finished with the most number of assists in the league, picking up the Premier League Playmaker of the season award. He even enjoyed a fine World Cup campaign finishing third after losing out to eventual winners France in the semifinals. (Image: Reuters)
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9) Kevin de Bruyne | The only other Belgium player on the list, de Bruyne was instrumental in Manchester City lifting the Premier League crown with consummate ease last season. He finished with the most number of assists in the league, picking up the Premier League Playmaker of the season award. He even enjoyed a fine World Cup campaign finishing third after losing out to eventual winners France in the semifinals. (Image: Reuters)

10) Harry Kane | The only Englishman to make the top-10, Kane finished the World Cup as the highest scorer in Russia picking up the Golden Boot for his six goals. He finished with 30 goals in the Premier League just two behind Salah who denied him three consecutive top-scorer awards in the league. (Image: Reuters)
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10) Harry Kane | The only Englishman to make the top-10, Kane finished the World Cup as the highest scorer in Russia picking up the Golden Boot for his six goals. He finished with 30 goals in the Premier League just two behind Salah who denied him three consecutive top-scorer awards in the league. (Image: Reuters)

First Published on Dec 4, 2018 05:25 pm
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