Ballon d’Or 2018 Award ceremony

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Here are some quotes from Modric: “It’s an unbelievable feeling, and a big pleasure to be here among all these players.

“I am still trying to realise that I have become part of a group of exceptional players. To win means I did something really special on the pitch this year, that’s why 2018 was the year for me.”

Here’s more on the moment Ada Hegerberg, upon being crowned the best female footballer on the planet, was asked to “twerk” on stage by DJ Martin Solveig. Her reaction says it all, I think.

Modric won his third straight Champions League with Real Madrid, but it was his performances in the World Cup that have probably swung the balance. He won the Golden Ball after leading Croatia to the final with a series of exemplary midfield displays. He’s the first Croatian to win, the first man from what was once Yugoslavia to win, and the first from Eastern Europe since Andriy Shevchenko in 2004.

Cristiano Ronaldo is second, Antoine Griezmann third and Kylian Mbappé fourth. “Is this the first ever Ballon d’Or winner from the Trainspotting cast?’ asks Aslak Høyersten.

This is, of course, terrific news for Real Madrid, who have the world’s best player in their ranks once again. Here’s their tweet, which has a frankly terrifying amount of retweets already.

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Here’s some words from Ada Hegerberg, albeit taken from France Football’s site and mauled by my sub-conversational French:

“It’s a tremendous honour, and a big motivation to continue working. We will continue to work together to win more titles.

Two of the top five, Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann, are up on stage with a few France team-mates and head coach, Didier Deschamps, to talk about winning the World Cup. Get over it, guys – not like it’s the Nations League, is it?

And a timely reminder that the Guardian are launching our own top 100 female footballers list on Tuesday, with the top spots to be announced on Friday.

The PSG and France superstar is named the world’s best under-21 player. Mbappé was up against the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma, Justin Kluivert and Trent Alexander-Arnold, but there was never much doubt he’d take the crown.

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