From Benzema to Courtois: The most freakish 2018 Ballon d'Or picks

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Croatia's run to the World Cup final earned Modric the Russian Federation 2018 Golden Ball and he was also given FIFA's The Best Men's Player award earlier in the year.

In September, Modric claimed FIFA's The Best award, also given to the world's top player, a prize which Messi and Ronaldo had not lost since 2008.

"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".

Lyon's Ada Hegerberg became the first recipient of the Women's Ballon d'Or award. "I'm as surprised as anyone that he's not on the Ballon d'Or podium", Valverde said at his pre-match press conference."It's odd, he was the best player in the Champions League, but we don't decide these things, it's UEFA". Kylian Mbappe won the first-ever Trophee Kopa award for the best young player under 21.

The top-ranking player from each selection was awarded six points, second four points, then three, two and one. And Salah scored 44 goals in his debut season for Liverpool as well as reaching the Champions League final.

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"There is only one player that has won the Champions League and the World Cup and he is called Varane", three-time Ballon d'Or victor Michel Platini said last month.

The pair were also nominated for this year's award in a 30-strong shortlist that also featured the likes of France's World Cup winners Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann and Modric's Croatian teammates Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic.

"There wasn't a specific moment where he told me: You can win it", he told France Football.

"I just want to enjoy it". Hegerberg refused and quickly left the stage.

Grenada also went for Manchester City striker Aguero but as their Ballon d'Or victor, not picking a single member of the French World Cup winning squad in the process. "It's all about how we respect women's football. I do not know".

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