Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Ballon d'Or: Ronaldo's sister under fire for blaming cabal

Ballon d'Or: Ronaldo's sister under fire for blaming cabal

Lionel Messi finished behind Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann, and Kylian Mbappe in this year's Ballon d'Or voting.

He was vast as Real Madrid won the Champions League and an inspiring captain and midfield force in driving Croatia to the World Cup final. With the youngster looking to get better with each passing minute, the Paris-Saint-Germain forward has class players around him at both worldwide and club level to assist him in his journey.

"My dream as a kid was to play for a big club and win trophies and this is a dream", Modrić said after collecting the award.

"To change position allowed me to develop my game, before I was more an offensive player", said Modric, who won a third consecutive Champions League title with Madrid this year.

France Football has awarded the prestigious prize to the best male player every year since 1956, adding a women's award this year. Brazil star Neymar, who was third past year, was a lowly 12th despite a domestic treble with Paris Saint-Germain.

Luka Modric was destined for the Ballon d'Or trophy, according to his former manager Zinedine Zidane, who told the Croatian midfielder that he could win it when the pair spoke in January 2016.

Also, Norwegian forward Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or. And Salah scored 44 goals in his debut season for Liverpool as well as reaching the Champions League final.

France Football, which hands out the Ballon d'Or, and FIFA combined their awards to create the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010.

Mario Mandžukić, who retired from global football after the World Cup, was ranked 25th.

"I just want to enjoy it".

Hegerberg played down the incident.

"Maybe in the past there were some players who could have won the Ballon d'Or like Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta or, I don't know, [Wesley] Sneijder, but it didn't happen". I didn't really think about it at the time to be honest.

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