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Luka Modric wins first Ballon d'Or to end Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's reign

Real Madrid's Luka Modric arrives with his family

Real Madrid's Luka Modric arrives with his family for the Golden Ball, "Ballon d'Or" award ceremony at the Grand Palais in Paris, France on Monday. Credit: AP/Christophe Ena

PARIS — Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric won the Ballon d'Or award for the first time on Monday, ending the 10-year dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Modric won the Champions League with Madrid and then guided Croatia to the World Cup final in July. He was voted player of the tournament.

Modric, who has won the Champions League four times with Madrid, was fifth in Ballon d'Or polling last year.

Ronaldo missed out on a record sixth award, which would have moved him one ahead of Messi. The last player to win it before those two started dominating world soccer awards was Brazil midfielder Kaka with AC Milan in 2007.

Also, Norwegian forward Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or.

New York Sports