Ballon d’Or and Real Madrid, a gleeful ‘love story’

Ballon d’Or and Real Madrid, a gleeful ‘love story’

On Monday, Luka Modric became the latest Real Madrid player to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or award. The Croatian midfielder pipped his former Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo to the award as he continued the club’s domination of Ballon d’Or arena. Modric became the 10th Los Blancos player in history to lay his hands on the coveted prize.


Real Madrid does have a special relationship with the Ballon d’Or trophy. In fact, with Modric, there are already eight players who have the trophy they have played at the Bernabeu during the 21st century. Alfredo Di Stefano was the pioneer. The striker, who had a legendary period of success, winning the first five European Cups, received the Ballon d’Or in 1957 and 1959. He is also the only player to have been presented with the Super Ballon d’Or for the best player in European football history (1989). Kopa, who shared a dressing room with Di Stefano, took the trophy in 1958 to stamp the Madridsta authority over the award.

Figo, Zidane, and Ronaldo

Luis Figo won the award in 2000, as he closely followed Zinedine Zidane, who had won the prize in 98. The Brazilian Ronaldo, who won the first in 1997 repeated the feat in 2002. Though David Beckham, never won the prize, Michael Owen, who came to Madrid in 2004, three years after lifting it when he was the star of Liverpool. The small English striker, who did not leave a great memory in Santiago Bernabeu, became the fourth Madridista of the century to lift the prize.

 

Cannavaro, Kaka and the advent of Cristiano Ronaldo

In 2006 Real president Florentino Perez signed Fabio Cannavaro after his star show at the World Cup in Germany. As happened with Figo or Ronaldo, the year ended with the award for the Italian. His successor in the Madrid club, Kaka, came to the Bernabeu two years after being named the best in the world in the ranks of Milan. Cristiano Ronaldo also knew what it was like to pick up the Golden ball award in 2008, but his signing for the Whites gave him four more Balls and as many Champions League. Ten major accolades, for which he has gone down in history before leaving by the back door to Juventus last summer.

 

Luka Modric, the new ‘best’

With Luka Modric, Real touched the eighth player of the 21st century. His case is special because he has been for more than five years in this Madrid side. Four Champions League, some wonderful displays in La Liga and the key figure for Croatia in the World Cup, Luka is perhaps the most genuine winner of those who have played for Real. He arrived without being a big star and at 33 he becomes another reason for pride for Florentino Perez and the Los Blancos who always had a weakness for this trophy. To get an idea of the significance of Madrid in this award during this century, it should be remembered that only four players have won in the last two decades without going through the Bernabeu’s local dressing room. Nedved, Shevchenko and the Barca players Ronaldinho and Messi.

Luka Modric wins Ballon d’Or 2018 in Paris

Luka Modric wins Ballon d’Or 2018 in Paris

Winner of the Champions League and the finalist of the Russia World Cup, the Croatian midfielder Luka Modric wins his first Ballon d’Or France Football. He finished ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann. 


After ten years of reign shared between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (5 trophies each), the 2018 edition of the Ballon d’Or marked an end with the coronation of Luka Modric. Under the light, the elegant master of Real Madrid got the prize who looks like an ‘old-fashioned’ player, with his frail pace and gestures combining grace and efficiency. 

The first player in his country, Croatia, to win this distinction, Luka Modric has done better than Davor Suker. Suker, the only Croatian who has already been on the podium of the Ballon d’Or with his 2nd place in 1998, the former Real Madrid striker won the Champions League that year and played a major role in the third place of the Croatia at the World Cup, during which he finished top scorer (6 goals) and third place of the event.

Also Read: Modric – Golden Ball Winner | FIFA World Cup

He also won the Champions League that year with Real Madrid, but Luka Modric has raised the flag on the checkered flag at the World Cup, opening the doors of the final, lost against France (2-4). Author of a sparkling performance – punctuated by a sublime goal – during the correction imposed on Argentina in the group stage (3-0), the 33-year-old then showed his notch in knockout matches.

Also Read: UEFA Men’s Player Of The Season: Luka Modric

While missing a penalty in overtime against Denmark, Luka Modric met his responsibilities by turning his shot on goal against the Vikings, then against Russia, the host country in quarters. Elected player of the competition, Luka Modric took advantage of the premature eliminations of Ronaldo’s Portugal and Messi’s Argentina to receive the most prestigious individual competitions.

Seventeenth in 2016 (tied with Kroos and Payet), fifth in 2017, Luka Modric was ahead of the five-times winner Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann, world champion and winner of the Europa League. In his acceptance speech,

Modric said: “It’s a unique feeling. I am happy, proud and honored. I have sensational emotions at the moment that are really hard to describe in words. First of all, I would like to thank my team-mates and coaches at Real Madrid and all the people who work for Real Madrid, all my coaches at team-mates with the national team, all those who voted for me and of course, my family, my wife, and kids. They are fulfilling me as a person and helping me in all aspects to be successful as a professional. As a kid, we all have dreams. My dream was to play for a big club, to win important trophies. I dreamed about it, but the Ballon d’Or was more than a childhood dream for me and it’s a real honor and a privilege to hold this trophy tonight.”

 

Women’s Ballon d’Or

Ada Hegerberg of Lyon and Norway became the first ever winner of the female Ballon d’Or. Hegerberg joined Lyon in 2014 and since then she has helped the club complete three domestic doubles and win the Women’s Champions League in each of the last three seasons.

The striker has scored 157 goals in 125 appearances for Lyon and 38 goals for Norway in 66 games. In 2016 Hegerberg was voted as Europe’s best female player. There was a collective intake of breath from the crowd when French DJ Martin Solveig asked Ada Hegerberg if she would twerk just moments after she received the award. The question was beyond inappropriate, it was an absolute disgrace.

 

Kopa Trophy

Kylian Mbappe has won the inaugural Kopa Trophy, a new award given to the world’s best male footballer aged under 21. The Paris Saint-Germain striker was one of the stars in France’s triumphant World Cup campaign as Didier Deschamps’ squad emerged victorious at the Russia 2018 tournament.

Also Read: Kylian Mbappe – Young Player Of The Tournament | FIFA World Cup

With 32 goals in 56 games in all competitions for club and country in 2018, Mbappe beat fellow nominees including Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold and Borussia Dortmund’s United States international Christian Pulisic.

“I am very happy to receive this award, This rewards a great year, which I realized thanks to all my team-mates at PSG and with the national team. I will never forget the adventure of the World Cup. It’s a good time to thank them. And it’s an extra motivation to keep working.”

Mbappe said at Monday’s ceremony.

“My next goal? It is to win everything. It will be with hard work and help from my team-mates.”

Ballon d’Or – 5 most controversial winner ever

Monday, December 3, 2018. On that date, Paris will be staged for awarding the Ballon d’Or 2018. For the first time, after years of uncontested rule, the award-winning Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will not be on the podium. In addition, we will have a totally new finale composed by Luka Modric, Kylian Mbappe and Raphael Varane.


The Real Madrid defender has been at the centre of a discussion for his participation in the final act because, according to many, he had “stolen” the place from some much more deserving football player. In fact, in the past, it happened more than once that a player obtained the prize of Ballon d’Or among general criticism from those deserve it more. We have collected 5 of them and staged them to refresh your memory.

 

Matthias Sammer (1996)

The Golden Ball was handed over to a defender came in 1996, when Borussia Dortmund’s Matthias Sammer won the award. The recognition triggered a lot of controversy in Italy because of the fourth-place finish of Alessandro Del Piero, winner of the Champions League and Intercontinental Cup that year, where he was the undisputed hero. And then Sammer had won the European Championship but was not considered one of the best defenders in the world, yet he climbed on the top step of the podium for only 3 votes more than a young Ronaldo, the Phenomenon, and Alan Shearer, the English flag of Newcastle United.

 

Pavel Nedved (2003)

Image result for nedved ballon d'or

Back in 2003, the name taken out of the winner’s envelope was Pavel Nedved. The Czech played an excellent Champions League, although not played the final because of the controversy in the semifinal match against Real Madrid, leaving the victory to Milan. Two Rossoneri reached the threshold of victory, Paolo Maldini, winner of the fourth Champions League of his career, came third, while Andry Shevchenko only came fourth. The second place, in fact, was assigned to a certain Thierry Henry. The Frenchman scored 42 goals and 26 assists in the whole calendar year, numbers impressed before the arrival of Messi and Ronaldo.

Also read : Do Luca Modric really deserved it?

 

Fabio Cannavaro (2006)

The defender finished in front of his team-mate Gianluigi Buffon, author of a virtually perfect World Cup without suffering even a network of action in the 7 matches of the competition. Third for the award, however, came Thierry Henry, the French tightrope walker who took Arsenal one step away from the Champions League victory and lost the Berlin final due to the naive mistakes of Zidane before, with his famous header, and Trezeguet then, stopped by the crossbar in the shot from the penalty spot.

 

Lionel Messi (2010)

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Winning a major competition is one of the main motivations for obtaining the Ballon d’Or award. This explains the general dismay about the victory of Lionel Messi in 2010. The Argentine preceded his teammates Iniesta and Xavi , who excelled with the Spain the World Cup in South Africa, in which Don Andres even scored the decisive goal in the final  In Italy, however, the controversy was raised by the Inter people, wounded in the soul for not having seen reward for one of its players in Triplet. Wesley Sneider came fourth, despite being one of the finalists of the 2010 World Cup. And Diego Milito did not even finish among the first 23 of the list of candidates for the award.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo (2013)

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The Portuguese took the Golden Ball on the face of Lionel Messi. Few points of difference to precede the Argentine were enough to get his second personal recognition. The discussion, however, was fueled anyway, as the prize could be awarded to Frank Ribery, Bayern Munich’s main man in the 2012-2013 Champions League victory. The Frenchman came only third, putting an end to the possibility of snatching the Ballon d’Or from the Messi-Ronaldo monopoly for the last few years.

Ballon d’Or: Luka Modric really deserve it in 2018

Ballon d'Or: Luka Modric really deserve it in 2018

There are some players who rule the fans without shrillness or voices, but only with time and with the weight of their football. Luka Modric is one of them. 


Luka Modric tells his fans at Madrid through football, using that diminutive stature, and the Madristas do express complicity and love towards their midfielder. The fact is, that his talent is worth a lot, so much, so that on December 3rd, he is favorite receive the Ballon d’Or that states him as the best player of this year, ahead of Varane, Mbappe or Griezmann, the world champions with the French team, or Cristiano Ronaldo, the last winner.

 

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The Ballon d’Or may surely follow the same path, what had already been announced by ‘The Best’ award granted by FIFA, as there was no one better than Modric in the last 12 months. After the Russia World Cup year, it is difficult to compete against the champions, but the Croatian’s feat of reaching the final match in Russia with his country has been rewarded with individual prizes to regard him as the best player. Modric commanded the team and for journalists around the world of the magazine that gives the most prestigious individual prize, that has had more value than those who won the final.

 

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The unfounded suspicion was that a French publication made it clear to do everything possible to reward a French footballer, the year they returned to conquer the world championship. Varane, despite being a defender, is one of the favorites; European champion with Madrid, in titles he could compete with Modric; Mbappe is the young promise of French football and one of the players called to lead this team in front; but with PSG he had not won any international title the rest of the year.

 

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Griezmann also has the hopes with the victory of the World Cup, the victory in the Europa League. And Cristiano Ronaldo dreams of breaking the tie with Messi in Ballon d’Or. With the triumph, Luka Modric may end an era in which the Portuguese and the Argentine forward have reigned in the individual awards because their quality was several heads above the rest. The victory of Real Madrid midfielder opens the door to many players, who have long been waiting to take a step forward.

2018 was a good year for Messi in the Champions League, but the defeat in Rome, without him doing anything to avoid it, took away any possibility. The role of Cristiano Ronaldo was very prominent in the eighth and in the quarters of the Champions League, with that goal of the tournament against Juventus, but his presence in the semifinal and in the final was discreet. Modric is more vibrant than both, though has fewer goals, but occupies far more covers than the two stars. So this year, his class has been recognized above both. 2018, it is the really the ‘Modric’ year.

 

5 Players who beat Mbappe to a Golden Boy Award Nomination

5 Players who beat Mbappe to the Golden Boy Award Nomination

The Golden Boy Nominations have been announced and the biggest Shock for Many people was the Fact that Kylian Mbappe was left out of the final 5 Shortlist.


Kylian Mbappe won the Golden Boy Award in 2017 but is still eligible for the coveted trophy as he is under the age of 21. While some fans think he is omitted because he won the award last Season while other optimistic fans think it’s because Kylian Mbappe will make it to the Ballon d’Or shortlist.

That is a realistic possibility given that the awards are organized by France’s Football Federation. The 5 Final Nominees are still a great group of Players so let’s have a look at them.

1. Trent Alexander-Arnold- Liverpool (20 Years-old)

The Liverpool Youngster has been phenomenal at the Merseyside Club and has made the Right-Back position his own keeping Compatriot Nathaniel Clyne out of the team.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Alexander-Arnold broke Into England’s World Cup Squad this year, was easily in the top 3 Right Backs in the Premier League and According to Statistics site, Squawka made just one defensive error in the whole 2017/18 Premier League Season. He is a definite favorite for the Golden Boy.

 

 

2. Patrick Cutrone- AC Milan (20 Years-Old)

Cutrone was a pleasant Surprise for AC Milan last Season. After investing so much Money in bringing top players to the Club and spending 38 Million on a Striker like Andre Silva and then watching him fail must’ve hurt fans of the Club.

Patrick Cutrone

Surprise Surprise, a new star breaks onto the Scene and Cutrone scored an impressive 18 Goals in his first Full Season for his boyhood Club. Furthermore, He broke into the Italy Squad as well to earn his first Cap.

 

 

3. Matthijs de Ligt- Ajax (19 Years-Old)

de Ligt is probably the most sought after Centre-Back in the World right now and the Dutch Teenager is living up to the hype.

Matthijs de Ligt

He has seemed to become Ajax’s most important defender and is evidently growing with every game for the Netherlands especially when he’s paired alongside Virgil Van Dijk. No wonder Barcelona are reportedly ready to pay 80 Million Euros for him.

 

 

4. Justin Kluivert- Ajax/Roma (19 Years-Old)

It isn’t often that a famous Footballer’s Son goes on to play as well as his Father. We aren’t saying that Justin Kluivert is going to achieve what the Great Patrick Kluivert did but he certainly has potential.

Justin Kluivert

Kluivert Jr. Reportedly had offers from the Likes of Barcelona and Manchester United after shining at Ajax but according to his Father, they picked Roma in order to have more game time and chances to grow. Roma Legend, Francesco Totti personally called Patrick Kluivert to advocate the move.

 

 

5. Vinicius Jr.- Real Madrid (18 Years-Old)

The Brazilian youth sensation Cost Real Madrid a reported 46 Million Euros when he signed a Pre-Contract 2 years back that would see him move to the Los Blancos after he turned 18.

Vinicius Jr

Though Vinicius isn’t a regular in the senior Real Madrid team yet, He has turned some heads for the Youth Madrid and Brazil Teams. Vinicius is an exciting prospect for the future and Madrid will hope to get the best out of him. 

 

France Football announces the 30 men shortlist for Ballon d’Or

France Football announces the 30 men shortlist for Ballon d'Or

With the winner set to be announced on the 3rd of December, France Football has revealed the 30-man shortlist of Ballon d’Or nominees. The list contains some very usual names which we see every year, alongside some names which stunned the fans.

The last ten awards have been shared between Juventus’ striker Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s striker Lionel Messi. However, with the recent victory of Croatia’s Luka Modric, the fans are hoping for a new player come this December.

Between 2010 and 2015, it was unified with FIFA’s World Player of the Year award. Since then, the French football has made it into two separate awards. One still remained as the Ballon d’Or, while the other became the Best awards.

Who would walk away with the award:

While people’s popular opinion suggested that Mohamed Salah was running with the votes, it seems to be not certain at this point.

It is widely expected that Cristiano Ronaldo would run away with his third consecutive awards, as Luka Modric and Lionel Messi fight for the other two places.

Alongside Ronaldo, also included in the list were Real Madrid’s strikers Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale. The inclusion of the duo made a huge mess on the social media, as people struggled to understand the inclusion of the French striker.

Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne became the only two stars that represented the English club Manchester City in the shortlist. Kevin De Bruyne won the playmaker award of the year in the previous season with the English champions.

Salah or Kante?

Liverpool’s deadly trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane are nominated for the awards alongside the newcomer Alisson. PSG’s trio of Neymar, Edinson Cavani, and Kylian Mbappe are nominated for the awards as well.

Chelsea’s duo of Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante are shortlisted for the awards as Paul Pogba represents Manchester United. Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane too make the list from Tottenham Hotspur. Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid too made it to the shortlist after his stint with France in the World Cup.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Meet the top 5 stars for this year!

FIFA WORLD CUP 2018

Every country is bucking up and preparing their stars for the FIFA World Cup this year. Clearly, the fans are extremely excited and cannot wait for it to start! The predictions and the discussions online have begun.

There are some players who stand out every year and have naturally become the favorites. A lot of the people look forward to watching them play this year, which is certainly nothing short of a treat. Let’s have a glance at this year’s top 5 star players!

 

Toni Kroos (Germany)

Germany is ranked as the number one FIFA and Toni Kroos is easily one of the best players it has on board. He plays as the midfielder for the German National Team. He was the youngest player to have represented the Bayern Munich professionally at the age of 17 years 8 months and 22 days. He is the recipient of the IFFHS World’s best playmaker Bronze and Silver award in 2016 and 2017 respectively. In the semi-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, he scored 2 goals just two minutes apart and recorded his fourth assist, as a result of which, he was named the man of the match.

 

Paulo Dybala (Argentina)

Paulo Dybala started his career at the age of 19 and was transferred to Juventus in 2015 following which he won two prestigious titles: Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana. He is known for his great technical abilities, balance and dribbling abilities. While playing in the 2017/2018 session while playing for Juventus, he was awarded the best UEFA Player of the Year Award. The same season he scored two hat-tricks against Genoa and Sassuolo. In 2017, he was nominated for the Ballon d’Or and was 15th on the list. The 23-year-old sure is going to put up a great fight.

 

Luis Suárez (Uruguay)

Luis Suárez is undoubtedly a great asset for the Uruguay National Team. The 31-year-old started at the Nacional Football club in 2003. The KNVB Cup was his first trophy which he bagged in 2010 and emerged as the league’s top scorer and was honored as the Dutch Footballer of the year. He is popularly known for being a part of the attacking trio that Barcelona had with Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. Out of a total of 94 participations, he has managed a great score of hitting 47 goals for his home team. By the time he had touched 100 matches for Barcelona, he had scored 88 goals and 43 assists in 2017.

 

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

The Argentine footballer, Lionel Messi is the recipient of the Ballon d’Or five times and four Golden Shoes. He became the youngest player to have played for Argentina in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.  He is one of the most successful and popular names in football. He established himself as Barcelona’s highest goal-scorer. He was, like Suárez, a part of the iconic attacking trio with Neymar for Barcelona. Barcelona was a team, playing for which he set new records. He has the highest number of hat-tricks scored, which is 41 and is the topmost goalscorer in the competition, having a record of 551 goals. He is the scorer of 600 senior career goals. He is considered to be in intense competition with Ronaldo and fans have made a Ronaldo-Messi rivalry.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

Cristiano Ronaldo is easily one of the greatest players in the history of football. He is a record  5-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, a tie with Messi and was the first European player to win four European golden shoes. At the age of 18, he started playing for Manchester United, winning the FA Cup and helped United win three Premier League titles in a row and also a FIFA Club World Cup. In 2016, once he became the Captain of the Portugal national football team, he led them to victory at the Euro Cup and won the Silver Boot. He beat Pelé and Hussein Saeed as the joint fifth highest goal scored in 2017 with a total of 78 goals. While playing for United, he has an important role as he plays both as a striker and supporting forward and even attacking midfielder.