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Sunday 2. December 2018 - 17:59

Luka Modric tipped to end Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi duopoly

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric is tipped to end Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's decade of Ballon d'Or dominance when the winner is announced on Monday night.

Juventus striker Ronaldo and Barcelona forward Messi have both won the top prize, which has been awarded by France Football to the best male player every year since 1956, five times from 2008.

Br azilian playmaker Kaka was the last player other than Ronaldo and Messi to be victorious, in 2007 when starring for AC Milan.

However, Ronaldo and Messi could miss out this time around with speculation linking Croatian Modric with the Ballon d'Or, which will be presented at a ceremony hosted by David Ginola in Paris.

Former Tottenham player Modric has enjoyed an impressive year for both club and country.

The 33-year-old played an integral role in Real winning a fourth Champions League title in five years and then skippered Croatia to their first World Cup final in Russia.

Croatia were beaten 4-2 by France in Moscow earlier this summer, but Modric reinforced his reputation as one of the best midfielders in the world during the tournament by winning the Golden Ball.

Modric was also named the FIFA Best Men's Player at an awards ceremony in London in September, beating off competition from Ronaldo and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.

As well as Ronaldo, Messi and Salah, France World Cup winners Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane plus Br azil skipper Neymar are among the 30-man Ballon d'Or shortlist that was released in October.

England striker Harry Kane and Wales forward Gareth Bale were the only British players included.

Paris St Germain forward Mbappe and Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold are two of the 10 nominees for the first Kopa Trophy, which is handed to the best player under the age of 21.

England internationals Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby, of Lyon and Chelsea respectively, are in the running to win the inaugural Women's Ballon d'Or.

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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