Paris, France | AFP | Luka Modric saw off competition from France’s World Cup stars as the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder won the Ballon d’Or on Monday to end a 10-year stranglehold on the award by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Modric, 33, was announced as the winner of the prestigious prize in Paris ahead of Ronaldo and French World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann.
Earlier, Kylian Mbappe was named winner of the Kopa Trophy for young player of the year at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris on Monday.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward, who does not turn 20 until later this month, starred as France won the World Cup and also won the best young player award in Russia.
The new award — named after French former Ballon d’Or winner Raymond Kopa — was voted for by 33 living former winners of the main Ballon d’Or prize. Mbappe was also among the 30 nominees to win that award.
Mbappe — who was accompanied at the ceremony by his father and his younger brother Ethan — scored four goals at the World Cup, including one in the final as France beat Croatia 4-2 in Moscow.
In doing so he became just the second teenager to score in a World Cup final after Brazilian great Pele, who achieved the feat in 1958.
A French champion last season with PSG following a 180 million-euro ($204m) move from Monaco, Mbappe is the top scorer in Ligue 1 this season with 12 goals in 10 appearances