Real Madrid’s Modric wins Ballon d’Or as world player of year

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A World Cup year, though, resets the generally understood criteria to judge what it takes for a player to rise above his peers.

Former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win it.

It's claimed Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann will then finish third.

With five Ballon d'Ors each, their domination began in 2008 with the Portuguese attacker winning as a Manchester United player.

His incredible goal in the final even made him the second teenager in history to score in a World Cup final.

The Italian news media also said that both Ronaldo and Griezmann will not be in attendance at the gala on Monday, December 3.

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The Frenchman finished third in the race for the award in 2016, and may be set for a better ranking this time around.

Karim Benzema is perhaps a surprising name to be in fourth position in the charts - 12 strikes behind Raul - but the French striker failed to add to his tally in Real's 2-0 win over Roma on Tuesday.

There has been much less talk about Raphael Varane, a player whose achievements in 2018 arguably make him more deserving of the ultimate individual recognition than anyone else.

Buoyed by his home country's FIFA World Cup win in Russian Federation where he won the Man of the Match award for his goal-scoring exploits in the competition's final game, the forward has made the list of very few players who could actually win the award.

Ronaldo is reported to be runner-up with World Cup victor Antoine Griezmann third in the voting. France's Kylian Mbappe is heavily favored to win the latter honor, while Americans Lindsey Horan and Megan Rapinoe are up for the women's award.