Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has overthrown Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi from the Ballon d’Or prize.

The Croatia international was named the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner after beating off competition from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Raphael Varane.

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The 33-year-old played a pivotal role for his club as they secured their 13th Champions League title, while he led his national team to the 2018 World Cup final in Russia.

Modric, who has become the first player to break Messi and Ronaldo’s duopoly of the award since 2007, has revealed that Changing position allowed him to develop his game.

“It’s a unique feeling, I’m happy, proud and it’s an honour,” the former Tottenham star said. “[There are] extraordinary emotions at the moment.”

“I just want to thank all those who helped me to be here tonight, I thank my team-mates, my coaches, the staff and Real Madrid, all those who work there, the coaches and team-mates in the national team, the ones who voted for me and my family, which allows me to blossom as a person.”

“Always have dreams, I wanted to play in a big club, win titles, the Ballon d’Or is all I could dream [about] as a child, it’s an honour to win it tonight.”

“It’s a great pleasure to be here around these players. I keep thinking, I’m trying to get used to being part of this group of exceptional players who have won the Ballon d’Or in history. It’s a great pleasure to be part of this group.”

“Throughout my career, I understood that work, persistence, believing in yourself, is the basis for expressing your talent. I like a saying – the best is never easy. For me, it was not easy. It was necessary to seize the opportunities.”

Meanwhile, the Croatia captain believes changing his role in midfield has been a huge effect in his success.

“Changing position allowed me to develop my game before I was more an offensive player. When I retreated, I had a better vision of the game, I could better express my creativity, my game. In my second year in Tottenham, I played midfielder and I felt better in the middle.”

Former Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann finished second and third respectively, while Messi finished fifth at this round.

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