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: 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.

 

Luka Modric wins FIFA Best mens player, Marta picks up the Women’s award

Luka Modric wins FIFA Best mens player, Marta picks up the Women's award

Real Madrid and Croatian Midfielder, Luka Modric picked up the Best men’s player award while Brazilian International, Marta was named as the best Women’s Player. Modric was touted to win the big award after having almost a near-perfect Season with both Club and Country. The Croatian led his Nation to the FIFA World Cup Final, though the Croats finished as Runners-up Modric was awarded the Golden Ball in Russia. With Real Madrid, Modric went on to win his 4th Champions League title against Liverpool and remains the fulcrum of the Los Blancos’ Midfield.

Modric has broken Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s dominance at the FIFA Best Players awards which goes all the way back to 2007 when Brazilian International Kaka had won the award. It’s commendable that Modric won the award as a creator, as a midfielder, and has broken the trend of only Forwards taking the award home. Modric beat 5-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to the award incidentally, Modric beat Salah and Ronaldo to the UEFA Player of the Year award as well.

Modric looked absolutely thrilled upon receiving his coveted prize and the 32-Year-Old said “This award is not just mine. It is my team-mates from Real Madrid and Croatia. Without my coaches, I would not have won this and without my family, I would not be the player I am today,”

Modric’s Croatia Manager Zlatko Dalic showered his Captain with praise and went on to call Modric “my assistant in the field”. Dalic further added “Luka Modric is the captain of my team, he’s the best player in my team and in the world, and he deserves this award,”

Modric Thoroughly deserved this award and it’s good to see a refreshing to see all types of players being appreciated. Luka Modric is the best player in the World and no he doesn’t need to bang in 40 Goals a Season to prove that and you know why? because While Messi and Ronaldo find the back of the net it’s a player like Modric who creates those opportunities, week-in-week-out. 

Spain 6 – 0 Croatia | UEFA Nations League

Spain 6 - 0 Croatia | UEFA Nations League

Spain’s extraordinary performance led them to a 6-0 victory against World Cup runners-up Croatia in the UEFA Nations League.

Luis Enrique‘s team who beat England at Wembley in their opener in the competition on Saturday performed even better and never looked back after Saul Niguez‘s headed opener.

Marco Asensio produced a marvelous unique performance in Spain’s riot against FIFA World Cup runners-up Croatia. The Real Madrid forward created all 4 goals after scoring his teams 2nd. The only goals where he played no part in was La Roja‘s opener, a brilliant Saúl Ñíguez header from Dani Carvajal‘s right-wing cross.

Marco Asensio scored his first international goal and escorted Spain to an outstanding 6-0 win over Croatia on Tuesday night in UEFA Nations League action. Tuesday’s match in Elche marked ex-Barcelona boss Luis Enrique’s first home match as Spain manager and his 2nd win in as many matches since taking over the club in July.

Croatia could do very little to stop the Spanish attack as the World Cup finalists endured their poorest ever defeat in team history.

Elche native Saul Niguez scored the night’s first goal in the 24th minute with a leaping header off Dani Carvajal’s long diagonal cross that ricocheted past Croatia goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic.

Asensio opened up his national team scoring account with a magnificent left-footed strike from 25 yards out in the 32nd minute. Two minutes later, the Real Madrid midfielder shot another ball that rattled the crossbar and clipped Kalinic, settling in for an own-goal off the diving Croatian keeper.

Rodrigo scored after sliding past the Croatian backline on a through-ball from Asensio in the 49th minute. In the 57th minute, Spain captain Sergio Ramos headed in his 14th international goal for the team’s 5th on the night. Isco bagged Spain’s 6th goal with a right-footed shot from the center of the box in the 70th minute.

Croatia’s best moment came before the first whistle even blew. Ivan Rakitic received a warm applause from the crowd as the Barcelona midfielder was honored by Croatian officials before the match for his 100th national team cap.

Spain now have 6 points in UEFA Nations League Group 4 after two games. Croatia and England have none after their individual losses to Spain.

England 1 – 2 Spain | UEFA Nations League

England 1 - 2 Spain | UEFA Nations League

Spain managed to secure a hard-fought 2-1 victory over England in the UEFA Nations League A.

Spain were clearly the better side on Saturday night against England at Wembley Stadium. With a lot of hard work, they made their comeback for a 2-1 UEFA Nations League win.

Both sides fielded their solid XIs for the match as the new Spain manager Luis Enrique oversaw his first game in charge of the Spanish national team after being hired to replace interim boss Fernando Hierro, who managed the team at the 2018 World Cup following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui. 

Both teams had 1 goal each on the scoresheet before the 15th minute, with Marcus Rashford scoring from an inch-perfect Luke Shaw cross on the counter-attack for the English side and Saul smashed a shot from Rodrigo‘s cross to make it 1-1.

Rodrigo then put Spain in the lead in the 32nd minute, cleverly redirecting a Thiago Alacantra free kick at the near post to beat Jordan Pickford in the England goal.

The match was interrupted for nearly five minutes soon after the break when England defender Luke Shaw went down after a collision with Dani Carvajal and had to be stretchered off the field. An FA spokesperson confirmed after the match that Shaw was “fine and walking and talking in the dressing room.” Danny Rose came on for Shaw at left-back as a substitute of the match slowed immediately following the Manchester United player was carried off the field.

After that, neither side had any real chances to score. in the following 15 minutes. The game opened up again in the closing minutes as England pushed for an equalizer, with Rashford shooting right at De Gea after being played into the penalty area with a quick ball from Harry Kane.

England World Cup defender Harry Maguire headed a Kieran Trippier corner kick just wide of the far post in the 86th minute as Gareth Southgate’s side tried very hard to equalize the match.

The referee gave 9 minutes of injury time following the delay for Shaw’s injury and substitute Danny Welbeck seemed to have scored the equalizer from close range but was harshly whistled for a foul on  Spanish goalkeeper De Gea as he sprang for a loose ball in front of his net.

The match was also marked by Spain fans chanting “Gibraltar is Spanish” risking a sanction from football authoritiesThe country has been trying to get Gibraltar back from Britain for 300 years after ceding it in 1713. 

The three points see Spain go top of UEFA Nations League A Group 4, with the third team in the group, Croatia, yet to play their opener. Croatia is set to play against Spain first and then later with England

Kylian Mbappe – Young Player of the Tournament | FIFA World Cup

Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe has won the FIFA Young Player Award for at the World Cup Russia 2018.

The France international had a spectacular campaign as France lifted the World Cup for the second time in history. Although many players were at the top of their game in the tournament, Kylian Mbappe was something else entirely.

Kylian Mbappe scored the crucial winning goal against Peru in the group stages, but he was the most impressive against Argentina where he won a penalty and scored a brace to knock Argentina out of the World Cup almost single-handedly. With this incredible feat, he became the first teenager to score twice in the same World Cup game since Pele in 1958 when he hit a double in their 4-3 victory of Argentina.

He later became the only teenager, after the legendary Pele, to score a goal in the World Cup final as he scored a wonderful goal against Croatia to comfortably see them off. What a name to be compared with. He also becomes the 2nd French player in a row to win the award, after team-mate, Paul Pogba won it four years ago.

“Technical qualities such as skill, style, and charisma are taken into account, but so are other important factors such as a sense of fair play and a genuine impression that the player is playing for the love of the game,” according to FIFA.

The PSG star scored 4 goals in his 7 appearances for them in the World Cup and was an absolute delight to watch on the pitch. The only player in the French squad who was not born when France won their first World Cup in 1998, the young forward immortalized himself with his performance in the tournament. 

The 19-year-old further made the headlines for all the right reasons as he donated his full earnings and winning bonus, which amounts to $550,000, from the World Cup to a charity that gives free sports instruction to hospitalized and disabled children in sports. What a way to mark the moment, you just can’t hate the lad.

France 4 – 2 Croatia | FIFA World Cup Finals, Highlights

France 4 – 2 Croatia

For both the sides, history was in the making, with Didier Deschamps’s men going into the finals for the first time since the 2006 event when they lost to the Italians in the finals. Exactly 12 years later, France had set foot into the finals wanting to prove a point to the whole footballing world.

Read France’s Road to World Cup Finals 2018

The sleeping giants have woken up and found 2018 as the perfect edition with their array of talent to pick the coveted trophy- The World Cup. Up against them was a determined Croatian side led by Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic.

It was definitely a 50-50 game up until the early falter from the Croats. In the 18th minute of the big game, Juventus’ striker Mario Mandzukic found the net. Unfortunately for the big man, he found the wrong side of the net giving Les Bleus a 1-0 lead on the night.

However, Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic had other plans when he belted a goal of the tournament contender with his left-foot rifling into the corner drawing Croatia level on the night. A mistake from Perisic in the 37th minute, however, put the French team back on the scoreline.

Would France score?

No points for guesses, it was indeed the flag bearer for the French side, Antoine Greizmann who gave France the lead on the night at 2-1.

After the break, Croatia returned and returned with more vigor as they looked to put an equalizer in the game.

All Croatian efforts were out of bounds, or poorly connected as France hit the Croatians on the attack with a wonderful effort from Paul Pogba. Pogba’s initial right-footed efforts rebounded back to the Manchester United man, who took a step with his left foot and smacked home a curler to give France a healthy lead on the night.

At 3-1, the match was definitely put to bed by the French midfielder. However, France had other plans as they went all-out attack and cracked home another beauty of a goal with Kylian Mbappe adding his name on the scoring list.

4-2 and the match is on:

The youngster, who was destined for a good tournament proved his worth with a dummy and a right-footed shot into the right corner of his Monaco team-mate Subasic. 4-1 read the scoreline, as bottles of champagne were thumped open in the cities of Paris and Monaco on the night.

Croatia never gave up and put up men forward everytime the ball was in the open play. Mario Mandzukic’s efforts paid off as he forced the French goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris to make a mistake in the match, which led to Croatia’s second goal in the Finals.

As we progressed towards the final quarter of the match, it was almost but certain that France had their hands on the coveted trophy- The World Cup and after 20 long years, the trophy comes back to the winners of the 1998 World Cup.

Luka Modric – Croatia’s best weapon

Luka Modric - Croatia

Luka Modric is a model and also the most important player in Croatia’s team, however, he has held his talents to his team’s service. He is also the only Croatian to score the most goals. He has played the most passes and most through balls. He has completed 2.7 key passes per game and ran a total distance of 63Km so far. So if Croatia does win the Finals, Modric will be the key reason behind the victory.

With all his success, he has had his share of hardships during his childhood. Dec 1991, Luka was only a six year old when the Balkan wars took place. The Serbian army had begun its attack on Croatian villages. During this time, Mordic’s family were fighting for their survival. He had to face the shock of witnessing his grandfather’s murder at the age of six. As the crusade continued, the family moved to a refugee camp.

When asked about it, he said “My whole career, when I was in Croatia, people questioned me, saying I wouldn’t make it, that I wasn’t good enough because I wasn’t big and strong. But you have to understand something about Croatian people. After everything that has happened, after the war, we are stronger, tougher. What we’ve been through was not easy. So when people said I wouldn’t be able to cope in the Premier League it just gave me an extra incentive. I wanted to prove them wrong and now, I think, they have to admit they were wrong.”

Modric got his inspiration from Ronaldo Luis, the Brazilian legend. He was often judged for his petite physique and was considered weak and shy, characteristics that didn’t fit for a football player. But Modric always believed that he could make in football. He is one of the best diminutive midfielders today. He carries a great vision of 4.2 million Croatians in the finale of 2018 FIFA world cup against France.

France VS Croatia, Match Predicton | FIFA World Cup 2018

France VS Croatia

France VS Belgium, Kick-Off Time: 8:30 P.M. (IST) 

63 matches packed with drama, emotions and surprises have determined our finalists – France and Croatia. They will face each other tonight at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow.

Didier Deschamps could be immortalized by becoming only the third person to win the World Cup both as a player and a coach following Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer. Deschamps captained Les Blues to their only World Cup victory till now in 1998. He further had the displeasure of witnessing his side lose on home turf in the final of the European Championships in 2016 against Portugal. 

Zlatko Dalic believes that his players should be proud of their accomplishments in the World Cup. This will be Croatia’s first appearance in a World Cup final and they could history by winning the World Cup for the first time and becoming the 8th unique nation to win the tournament. 

France have beaten Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium to reach the final while Croatia have knocked out Denmark, Russia and England, with all three games going to extra-time. Can the Golden Generation of Croatia lift their first ever World Cup? Or will the gifted French side prove to be too powerful for the Croats?

Team News

France: No fresh injury concerns or suspensions means that Les Blues will have their strongest eleven and will likely line-up the same team which beat Belgium in the semi-finals.

Croatia: Likewise, Croatia do not have any outstanding suspensions or injury concerns despite having played three 120-minute matches. This means even they will have their strongest eleven and will most likely go with the same team that knocked England out in the semi-finals.

Predicted Line-ups

France: Hugo Lloris | Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez | N’Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba | Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud.

Croatia: Danijel Subasic | Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic | Ivan Rakitic, Marcelo Brozovic, Ante Rebic, Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic | Mario Mandzukic.

Key Players

France: Kylian Mbappe has been nothing short of extraordinary this World Cup. The 19-year old PSG star has already scored 3 goals in his 5 starts for them. The only player in the French squad who was not born when France won the World Cup in 1998, the young forward carries the hopes of his country.

Croatia: Luka Modric stepped up for his country in this World Cup. The Real Madrid playmaker has registered 2 goals and an assist in his 6 appearances in the tournament. Modric has already received 3 MOTM awards, the most received by any player in this World Cup. The Croatian skipper will be key to Croatia’s fate in the finals.

Form – Last 5

FranceW | WW | D | W

Croatia: W | DD | W | W

Betting Odds – Sky Bet

France 10/11

Draw 11/5

Croatia 4/1

Score Prediction

France 2 – 1 Croatia: Both of the World Cup finalists have been in fine form. Croatia have faced many difficulties on the road, winning two of their 3 knockout games through penalties. France, on the other hand, have won all of their 3 knockout games in the 90 minutes. Be that as it may, the match will be a close one, France will probably edge over Croatia to lift the World Cup.

Where to watch?

TV Channels (India) – Sony TEN 2, 3 & Sony ESPN – 8:30 P.M IST

In addition, you can live stream all the Matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup from 14th June to 15th July only on the Official SonyLIV App and the SonyLIV Website.

Croatia: Road to the Final | FIFA World Cup 2018

Croatia

The Underdogs, the David to so many Goliaths. Croatia has taken us all by Surprise and has perhaps been the most consistent team in the World Cup. With the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic Croatia have cashed in on its “golden generation” of Footballers. So let’s take a look at their 2018 FIFA World Cup Journey.

Group Stage

The Croatians were drawn alongside Argentina, Nigeria, and Iceland in Group D.

CRO VS NGA, 17th June 2018, Croatia win 2-0 ( 32′ Etebo OG, 71′ Modric (p) )

The Croatians comfortably won their opening game against Nigeria with an own goal from Nigerian Midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo and Luka Modric’s Penalty.

Complete Match Report  CRO VS NGA Post-Match

CRO VS ARG, 21st June 2018, Croatia win 3-0 (53′ Rebic, 80′ Modric, 90+1′ Rakitic)

This was the moment we should’ve seen it coming! The Croatians put in a dominant display against Lionel Messi’s Argentina and played such attractive football. Ante Rebic opened the scoring, Luka Modric added a second with an amazing strike and Rakitic wrapped the scoring up for the Croats.

Complete Match Report  CRO VS ARG Post-Match

CRO VS ISL, 26th June 2018, Croatia win 2-1 (53′ Badelj,  76′ Sigurdsson, 90′ Perisic)

The Croatians had already qualified to the Round of 16, and Coach Zlatko Dalić fielded a second-string XI. Despite the changes, Croatia came out on top yet again with goals from Milan Baldelj and Ivan Perisic.

 

Round of 16

CRO VS DEN, 1st July 2018, Croatia win 1-1 ( 1′ Jorgensen, 4′ Mandzukic ) [3-2 on Penalties]

The first of the many thrillers for the Croats! Jorgensen and Mandzukic canceled each other’s goals out in the opening 5 minutes, before Kasper Schmeichel and Danijel Subašić could showcase their excellent glove work in the penalty shootout.

Complete Match Report  CRO VS DEN Post-Match

 

Quarter-Finals

CRO VS RUS, 7th July 2018, Croatia win 2-2 ( 31′ Cheryshev, 39′ Kramaric, 100′ Vida, 115′ Fernandes) [4-3 on Penalties]

They knocked out the hosts Russia in a nail-biting encounter. Dennis Cheryshev and Andrej Kramaric’s first-half goals took the game to extra time. Domagoj Vida opened the scoring in Extra Time and Mario Fernandes followed suit to take the game to Penalties.

Complete Match Report  CRO VS RUS Post-Match

 

Semi-Finals

CRO VS ENG, 11th July 2018, Croatians win 2-1 ( 5′ Trippier, 68′ Ivan Perisic, 109′ Mario Mandzukic)

Hands down, Croatia’s best performance in the 2018 World Cup. Despite Trippier’s peach of a Free-Kick in the 5th minute, Croatia strived hard and equalized through Perisic. For the third consecutive knockout game, Croatia were going into Extra Time. Mario Mandzukic’s close-range goal took the Croatians to their first ever World Cup Final.