Real Madrid’s Luka Modric has won the most prestigious individual award in the football world- the FIFA Ballon dOr, becoming the first-ever Croatian footballer to win the coveted trophy. Modric is the first footballer since 2007 when Brazil’s Ricardo Kaka won the trophy as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been winning it consecutively for a joint-record five times each since then.

The midfielder has dedicated the award to all the footballers who came close to winning but could not because of the domination by the forward duos of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Over the years, the credibility of the award has come under scrutiny and been questioned because it was always won by the player with the most goals and assists, which is usually the role of the forwards and often the midfielders, defenders and goalkeepers would be ignored. Dedicating his award to such footballers who missed out on the trophy like Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Sneijder, Thierry Henry, Luka Modric has termed his win as “victory for football.”

After the votes, the standings saw the record five-time winner Lionel Messi in the fifth position despite winning the La Liga and scoring an impressive tally of over 30 goals in all competitions. Modric won the prize after having collected 753 points while Cristiano Ronaldo came in second with 4676 points. Atletico Madrid forward and World Cup winner Griezmann got 414 points as Paris St-Germain striker Mbappe was fourth with 347 points.

Luka Modric won the trophy particularly for his contribution in Real Madrid’s historic 13th Champions League win and because of his role in famously leading his nation Croatia to the finals of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia and winning the best player of the tournament.