Modric wins 1st Ballon d’Or to end Messi and Ronaldo’s reign

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PARIS (AP) – Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric won the Ballon d’Or award for the first time on Monday, ending the 10-year dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Modric won the Champions League with Madrid and then guided Croatia to the World Cup final in July. He was voted player of the tournament.

Modric, who has won the Champions League four times with Madrid, was fifth in Ballon d’Or polling last year.

Ronaldo missed out on a record sixth award, which would have moved him one ahead of Messi. The last player to win it before those two started dominating world soccer awards was Brazil midfielder Kaka with AC Milan in 2007.

Also, Norwegian forward Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or.

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Real Madrid’s Luka Modric arrives with his family for the Golden Ball, “Ballon d’Or” award ceremony at the Grand Palais in Paris, France, Monday, Dec.3, 2018. Awarded every year by France Football magazine since Stanley Matthews won it in 1956, the Ballon d’Or, Golden Ball for the best player of the year will be given to both a woman and a man. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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