Modric wins Ballon d'Or to break Messi-Ronaldo dominance

Luka Modric becomes first Croatian to win prestigious Ballon d'Or

Despite the impressive statistics, Ronaldo is expected to miss out on the Ballon d'Or tonight.

AS has obtained the list which displays the winners hours before the actual announcement is set to take place.

Juventus and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo finished second in voting.

We jest, of course: these two have dominated European football at an astonishing level for the last 10 years, justifiably hogging/sharing the Ballon d'Or during that period.

It is unlikely that Modric's impending win will be the birth of a new generation of Ballon d'Or winners just yet, with Ronaldo and Messi still turning in good performances for the clubs and the likes of Neymar, Mbappe and others knocking on the door, but it is a fitting tribute to a dynamically talented player who for too long stood in the shadows of his big-name contemporaries.

It's claimed Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann will then finish third. France won 4-2, but Modric was named the tournament MVP.

NZ win Dubai Sevens beating United States in final 21-5
Also missing were Oscar Ayodi, who captioned the team last season, Oscar Ouma, Augustine Lugonzo and Tony Owuor among others. It was the Eagles' first time reaching the Dubai sevens final and thus their best finish in the prestigious season opener.

Those also in contention for the award included World Cup winners Antoine Griezmann, N'Golo Kante, Hugo Lloris, Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane, but it was the pint-sized pivot who capped off a memorable year by scooping the award.

While Ronaldo won another Champions League with Real Madrid in a typically prolific year, and Messi continues to mesmerise for Barcelona, both are now in their 30s and neither really stamped their authority on the World Cup in Russian Federation.

The 23-year-old won the Ballon d'Or Feminin in fine style and was joined on stage by a number of her team-mates including England star Lucy Bronze, as she made an inspirational and powerful speech asking for "every young woman to believe in themselves".

According to Italian media, the Croatian playmaker makes a clean sweep of the awards this year winning both UEFA and FIFA's player of the year awards.

As FIFA president Gianni Infantino said recently: "You could give the Ballon d'Or to half the France team for what they did at the World Cup".

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