Luka Modric was crowned the best footballer in Europe last night beating out ever-presents, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Modric was a deserving winner after winning the Champions League for the third time in a row with Real Madrid and reaching the finals of the World Cup held in Russia after dragging his team to the final while captaining them.
The Croatian hailed the award saying that his victory is a victory for football and that there were others who could perhaps have won the Ballon D’Or but for the dominance of Messi and Ronaldo.
“These two [Ronaldo and Messi] were on some exceptional level for the last 10 years,” Modric said.
“Maybe in the past there are some players that could win the Ballon d’Or, like Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta or [Wesley] Sneijder, but it didn’t happen.
“People are finally, I don’t know, they wanted something else. I think it’s [a] victory for football tonight.
“I am happy that I am the winner but this award is for all these players that probably deserved to win but didn’t.”
Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi have won the award over the last decade before finally getting usurped by the Croatian midfielder.
Messi was fifth on the log which came as a surprise for many. Ronaldo was number two while Antoine Griezmann and Mbappe made up the other positions.
Modric also claimed that he would like to retire at Real Madrid saying: “I have two years left and hopefully one more.
“The club show me a lot of affection and I’d like to retire at Real Madrid.
“My family enjoy it and I want to keep enjoying this huge club.”
He also noted that while he’s proud to have won the Ballon D’Or, he’d give it all up just to have won the World Cup.
“I said, I think last time when I won The Best, I would change all my individual awards for the World Cup, unfortunately it didn’t happen,” Modric told reporters. “This success we achieved at the World Cup for such a small country like Croatia is something amazing.
“But, like I told you, I would change all of this for a World Cup. It didn’t happen, this is a great feeling to win at least this, and very happy for it.”