Luke Modric was named 2018 Ballon d’Or winner on Monday, breaking up the decade-long reign of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo — or, is it Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi? — who had each won the award five times in the last 10 years.
The 33-year-old midfielder played a pivotal part for Real Madrid as Los Blancos lifted their third straight UEFA Champions League trophy — the first club to win it back-to-back, let alone back-to-back-to-back — and was even more central to Croatia unexpectedly reaching the World Cup final, where they ultimately lost to France.
Messi finished fifth in voting for the 2018 award — the first time he’s been outside the top-three since 2006 — while Ronaldo finished second behind his former Madrid teammate. World Cup winners Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe finished third and fourth, respectively.
Mbappe took home the inaugural Kopa Trophy, given to the best player under the age of 21. American attacker Christian Pulisic finished second.
Lyon and Norway forward Ada Hegerberg was crowned the first-ever female Ballon d’Or winner after someone realized that female players should be celebrated, too. Unfortunately, organizers felt the event needed a DJ and Martin Solveig chose to disgrace himself and Hegerberg’s accomplishment with a hugely inappropriate comment.
Fortunately, Hegerberg was able to impart a great bit of wisdom and inspiration before Solveig intervened and hijacked the moment.