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

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

Atletico Madrid and France star, Antoine Griezmann, has been pegged to be one of the favourites for the Ballon d'Or, and was recently tipped by a Spanish radio show to finish in the top three.

The superstar forward made the move to Juventus in July and team-mate Matuidi backed Ronaldo to win the Ballon d'Or on Monday.

According to them, the top prize this year will be bagged by Luka Modric.

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.

While Ronaldo had a better World Cup than Messi, his teammate Modric edges him out because Croatia went deeper in the tournament.

Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the award for the last decade, claiming it five times each, but the expectation is that a new name will be read out as this year's victor.

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They also report that Modric will have an entire Real Madrid entourage with him at the awards, as he'll be joined by club captain Sergio Ramos, President Florentino Perez and ex-players Raul Gonzalez and Roberto Carlos.

The last Frenchman to win the Ballon d'Or was Zinedine Zidane in 1998, on the back of France's World Cup victory on home soil that year.

Buoyed by his home country's FIFA World Cup win in Russian Federation where he won the Man of the Match award for his goal-scoring exploits in the competition's final game, the forward has made the list of very few players who could actually win the award.

This year, Barcelona's Messi is not even in the top three.

"I don't want to get into that debate. Whoever wins it will deserve too", he said. Matthias Sammer and Franz Beckenbauer are the only other defenders to win in more than 60 years of the award.

When does the Ballon d'Or ceremony start?

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