Ballon d’Or winners ‘leak’ shows Luka Modric first, Ronaldo second

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo

Luka Modric will be named the 2018 Ballon d'Or victor, Marca reports.

Croatia's Luka Modric and a few French World Cup winners will be hoping to finally end the 10-year duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

But Sky Italia also claim the Argentine superstar is not on the top-three podium finish - his last since Kaka won the award in 2007.

The 2018 Ballon d'Or victor will be announced by France Football on Monday 3rd December.

Elsewhere Paul Pogba, who won the World Cup with France, was in 15th, Sergio Agüero came 16th, a place above Gareth Bale, while Roberto Firmino came 19th. Both enjoyed bumper domestic seasons in La Liga, with Ronaldo plundering 44 goals in all competitions to Messi's 44.

A World Cup year, though, resets the generally understood criteria to judge what it takes for a player to rise above his peers. "I think [the award] loses all value if he is not leading the best players in the world". Cristiano Ronaldo? Who should win the 2018 Ballon d'Or?

With five Ballon d'Ors each, their domination began in 2008 with the Portuguese attacker winning as a Manchester United player.

The 33-year-old has already lost two major awards to his former teammate Luka Modric earlier this year.

While Ronaldo won another Champions League with Real Madrid in a typically prolific year, and Messi continues to mesmerise for Barcelona, both are now in their 30s and neither really stamped their authority on the World Cup in Russian Federation.

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