Luka Modric wins Ballon d'Or 2018

Luka Modric wins first Ballon d'Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Kylian Mbappe wins first-ever Kopa Trophy.

Luka Modric with the Ballon d'Or award.   -  Reuters

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's LIVE coverage of the 2018 Ballon d'Or ceremony. We will be bringing you the latest from the event held at the Grand Palais in Paris.

That's all we have from the Ballon d'Or ceremony! A historic night... in some ways as a player not named Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi didn't claim the award for the first time in 10 years. That in itself says a lot about Modric's momentous achievement.

That day is not far away when Marouane Fellaini lifts this award and be proclaimed as the undisputed GOAT... It's 3 am here and it's time for some shut eye for me. Good night!

  • Modric is the 10th time Real Madrid player to win a Ballon d'Or. Real President Fiorentino Perez says "It's a special connection between Ballon d'Or and Real Madrid. Long may it continue."
  • Modric on his first Ballon d'Or win: "I am happy, proud and honoured. It's hard to describe in words. Thanks to all of them who helped me be here tonight. Thanks to my teammates and coaches, from Real Madrid and Croatia and all those who voted for me. I want to thank my family for helping me. I dreamed about this... as a kid. It was more than a childhood dream for me. I am privileged to hold this trophy. Messi and Ronaldo are great players and all great players like Mbappe, Griezmann, Neymar. So I must have done something special to win it ahead of them. 2018 has been a special year for me. I realised hard work, persistence in difficult moments are foundations to show your talent. The best things never come easy. To achieve all this was not easy. Its important to be ready for your opportunities and take them. Change of position has helped me in my development. When I draw back my position I can see the game better and show my skills better."
  • Luka Modric is the winner of the 2018 Ballon d'Or! Modric breaks the Ronaldo-Messi hold on the award for the first time in 10 years.
  • Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) and Luka Modric (Real Madrid) are the four finalists.
  • Didier Deschamps, Antoine Griezmann, Luca Hernandez, Thomas Lemar and Mbappe recount their World Cup summer on stage to Ginola.
  • Let's take a moment and spare a thought for Messi sympathisers. The Barcelona forward has 46 goals and 18 assists in the last year but his failure to reproduce his club form for Argentina at the World Cup reduced his chances to make the final three.

Here are some highlights from Hegerberg's season...

 

 

  • Olympique Lyonnais and Norway's Ada Hegerberg is crowned the first-ever Woman's Ballon d'Or winner! An overwhelmed Hegerberg says: 'To all the girls all around the world, please believe in yourself.' The 23-year-old striker, much like Ronaldo, has successfully led Lyon to a third straight Women's UEFA Champions League this year.

 

  • Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) and Lionel Messi (!!) (Barcelona) finishes in positions 7, 6 and 5! This is the first time the Argentine has finished outside the top three since 2006.
  • No sign of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi yet in Paris... but we finally have an interpreter for Mr. Ginola.
  • We are back with a song from DJ Martin Solveig. It appears to be a party atmosphere at the Grand Palais.

The third round draw for England's FA Cup is out and holder Chelsea will begin its title defence at home to Nottingham Forrest. We will be bringing you the full list of the draw on our site.

ICYMI, here are the first two batches of results released earlier. Positions 30-21 and 20-11

 

  • Harry Kane (Tottenham), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City) and Eden Hazard (Chelsea) finish in positions 10, 9 and 8, respectively.

  • Ginola announces the winner for the first-ever Kopa Trophy and it goes to.... Paris' own Kylian Mbappe! The 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward walks out to huge cheers. Mbappe, Ginola break into a gig with DJ Martin Solveig on stage. The World Cup winner is in the race for the Men's Ballon d'or award as well. Can he make it a stunning swoop for the big one later in the evening?
  • Apologies. I was away to find my French translator but with no luck. David Ginola, the host for the night, is out on the stage after a dance gig to start the show. The show is in French thus far and my French is limited only to 'Oui'.
  • Our readers suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo is their pick for the Ballon d'Or for delivering yet another Champions Leaugue success and his exploits in the Serie A with new club Juventus. He does have the numbers to claim the award for the third straight year: 55 games, 54 goals and 11 assists.

 

  • The early votes released by French Football revealed that the likes of N'Golo Kante, Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, Neymar and Luis Suarez finished out of the top 10 places.

UPDATES

The annual football awards presented by France Football magazine has been dominated by Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi for the last 10 years, both claiming the title five times each.

Reports suggest that Real Madrid's Luka Modric, Ronaldo's former teammate, could break the duo's dominance for his exploits in the Champions League and captaining Croatia to the final of the World Cup in Russia in the summer. The midfielder was named the best player of the tournament.

Modric already beat them and France's World Cup winners to the European Player of the Year award in August.

No French player has won the award since Zinedine Zidane in 1998 on the back of his side's World Cup win on home soil. Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Raphael Varane are currently in the race for the award.

This year will see the introduction of two awards, the Woman's Ballon d'Or and the Kopa trophy, prize for the best player aged under 21.

Former French international Tottenham Hotspur player David Ginola will be the host for the evening.