luka modric wins ballon d'or
LUKA MODRIC. / COURTESY

Croatian Luka Modric was Monday named the winner of Ballon d’Or in Paris – France ahead of his former club-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and French World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann.

The prestigious Ballon d’Or, organized by France Football magazine following a vote by journalists from around the world, is the 33-year old’s second major personal accolade after picking the FIFA Best.

Modric’s win ended a 10-year stranglehold on the award by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who finished a distant fifth.

“It is difficult to express my emotion and how I feel in words. It is something unique for me. It was very special tonight. It was the most important people in my life – most of them, some of them were missing – but I am so happy to share this moment with them,” Modric said.

About Cristiano and Messi, the Croatian said; “They are two great players. They had great seasons. They deserve to be there but there can only be one winner so I am happy that I am.”

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Meanwhile, Norwegian striker Ada Herberg was rewarded for her scoring prowess with Champions League winners Lyon as she bagged the first ever women’s Ballon d’Or prize.

She was the top scorer with 15 goals as the French side won the Champions League for the third time on the bounce.

“I want to say thanks to my teammates because this would not have been possible without them, my coach or our president Jean – Michel Aulas,” Ada said.

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