By Aaryan Gondal

The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner was revealed to be Luka Modric. The Croatian international and Real Madrid footballer is now the first Croatian to have ever won this historic award. The winner of the Ballon d’Or is decided by a points system. With Ronaldo coming in second and Griezmann coming in third, many were surprised to see the absence of 5 times 2018 Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi. On the other hand, this Ballon d’Or was also the first one to ever see a female footballer be awarded the prize. Olympique Lyonnais player Ada Hegerberg became the winner of the first women’s Ballon d’Or. This is truly historic!

As a football fan, I am delighted to see this talented and extremely humble player win this award.

Modric – 753 points
Ronaldo – 476 points
Griezmann – 414 points
Mbappé – 347 points
Messi – 280 points
Salah – 188 points
Varane – 121 points
Hazard – 119 points
De Bruyne – 29 points
Kane – 25 points

After winning the Ballon d’Or here’s what Modric had to say:

“It’s a unique feeling, I’m happy, proud and it’s an honour. [There are] extraordinary emotions at the moment.”
“I just want to thank all those who helped me to be here tonight, I thank my team-mates, my coaches, the staff and Real Madrid, all those who work there, the coaches and team-mates in the national team, the ones who voted for me and my family, which allows me to blossom as a person.”
“Always have dreams, I wanted to play in a big club, win titles, the Ballon d’Or is all I could dream [about] as a child, it’s an honour to win it tonight.”
“It’s a great pleasure to be here around these players. I keep thinking, I’m trying to get used to being part of this group of exceptional players who have won the Ballon d’Or in history. It’s a great pleasure to be part of this group.”
“Throughout my career, I understood that work, persistence, believing in yourself, is the basis for expressing your talent. I like a saying – the best is never easy. For me, it was not easy. It was necessary to seize the opportunities.”

As a football fan, I am delighted to see this talented and extremely humble player win this award. It’s been 10 years of Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi going back and forth, and Luka Modric has finally ended the Ronaldo/Messi era.

Aaryan Gondal is a member of the Ascent Newspaper Club and a 10th grader in Ascend International School. He loves to write about sports (football in particular), technology and inspirational stories. Aaryan has been writing for the Ascent for over a year now. Through the Ascent, he informs, entertains and educates the community around him.