Dejan Lovren has been given a one-match ban by UEFA for comments made on social media following Croatia's Nations League win over Spain.

France's World Cup victory was not enough to lift them to the top of the FIFA world rankings and they end 2018 second behind beaten semi-finalists Belgium by only a single point.

Didier Deschamps' men triumphed 1-0 over Belgium in the last four in Russia before a 4-2 win against Croatia landed them the trophy for the first time since 1998.

Croatia end the year in fourth, ahead of fifth-placed England - the side they beat to reach the final - but behind Brazil.

Portugal and Switzerland - along with England and Netherlands (14th) - will contest the Nations League Finals next year and are sixth and eighth respectively on the December rankings list.

Argentina (11th), Germany (16th) and Italy (18th) are among the giants of world football who enter the new year outside the top 10.

Kosovo - ranked 131st - are the year's biggest climbers, having moved up 46 places over the course of 2018. 

End-of-year FIFA rankings - the top 10

1. Belgium - 1727 points
2. France - 1726
3. Brazil - 1676
4. Croatia - 1634
5. England - 1631
6. Portugal - 1614
7. Uruguay - 1609
8. Switzerland - 1599
9. Spain - 1591
10. Denmark - 1589

Luka Modric said Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is determined to keep him at the Santiago Bernabeu but refused to discuss the possibility of signing a new contract at the club.

The winner of the 2018 Ballon d'Or is contracted to the European champions until June 2020, by which time he will be 34.

Since captaining Croatia to the World Cup final and claiming the trophy awarded to the world's best player, Modric has been the subject of reports suggesting he could sign a new deal at the club he joined in August 2012.

However, he told Sportske Novosti: "The only thing certain for now is that I'll be with Madrid until the end of my contract.

"Perez told me straight away in the summer - get it out of your head that you're leaving Real, we have no theory to let you go."

Modric winning the Ballon d'Or prompted a strong reaction from pundits and players who felt that Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi deserved the award.

Ronaldo and Messi dominated the award for a decade, winning it five times each between 2008 and 2017, and Modric said his win did not indicate any superiority over the pair in terms of his quality as a player.

"Things are, in my opinion, very simple," said Modric.

"Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi are two phenomena that play a dominant role for 10 years. Above everyone in terms of quality.

"But here we are talking about seasonal performance and it may mean that the votes of trainers, players, legends of football, journalists and fans are the same. Or are they all at the same time mistaken?

"If we are to vote on the quality of players, then we can divide all the trophies between Messi and Ronaldo as long as they are actively playing and ignore any other choices."

Luka Modric has credited Zinedine Zidane with giving him the confidence to fulfil his potential and claim a maiden Ballon d'Or.

Luka Modric said he wants to retire at Real Madrid after beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the Ballon d'Or.

Modric claimed the coveted individual honour at a ceremony in Paris on Monday – ending the domination of Juventus superstar Ronaldo and Barcelona sensation Messi, who had split the past 10 awards.

After becoming the first Croatian to win the Ballon d'Or, Modric quickly pledged his future to three-time reigning Champions League holders Madrid amid links with Serie A side Inter.

Modric, who attracted interest from Inter at the start of the season, said: "I have two years left and hopefully one more.

"The club show me a lot of affection and I'd like to retire at Real Madrid.

"My family enjoy it and I want to keep enjoying this huge club."

Modric capped a brilliant 2018 by edging five-time winner and former team-mate Ronaldo, who finished second, while Messi was fifth in the voting.

The 33-year-old Modric – who was also named FIFA's Best Men's Player this year – helped Croatia to the World Cup final in Russia having guided Madrid to a third successive Champions League crown.

Modric, however, admitted he would give up all his individual accolades – including the Ballon d'Or – to win the World Cup.

"I said, I think last time when I won The Best, I would change all my individual awards for the World Cup, unfortunately it didn't happen," Modric told reporters. "This success we achieved at the World Cup for such a small country like Croatia is something amazing.

"But, like I told you, I would change all of this for a World Cup. It didn't happen, this is a great feeling to win at least this, and very happy for it."

Luka Modric said his Ballon d'Or win is for all the players who deserved the accolade but missed out because of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's dominance of the coveted award.

Real Madrid midfielder and Croatia captain Modric, 33, capped a brilliant 2018 by claiming the Ballon d'Or in Paris on Monday.

Barcelona great Messi and Juventus superstar Ronaldo had dominated the individual award, winning the honour five times apiece over 10 years.

However, Modric ended their decade-long duopoly on the prize following Croatia's run to the World Cup final and Madrid's third successive Champions League crown.

Modric – who was also named FIFA's Best Men's Player this year – acknowledged Messi and Ronaldo's quality but added that his success is a "victory for football".

"These two [Ronaldo and Messi] were on some exceptional level for the last 10 years," Modric said.

"Maybe in the past there are some players that could win the Ballon d'Or, like Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta or [Wesley] Sneijder, but it didn't happen.

"People are finally, I don't know, they wanted something else. I think it's [a] victory for football tonight.

"I am happy that I am the winner but this award is for all these players that probably deserved to win but didn't."

 

Luka Modric has been crowned the winner of the Ballon d'Or, capping a wonderful 2018 for the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder.

The Ballon d'Or has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the past decade, the rivals winning the award five times apiece.

But Modric's impact in Croatia's run to the World Cup final, coupled with Madrid winning the Champions League for the third year in a row, saw him triumph.

Modric - also crowned FIFA's Best Men's Player this year - pipped World Cup winners including Raphael Varane, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann to the award.

Griezmann made it into the top three but he was beaten to second place by Ronaldo, who moved to Serie A champions Juventus from Madrid in July.

Messi finished fifth in the voting, with Griezmann's France team-mate Mbappe a place above the Barcelona star.

There was no place for Neymar in the top 10, with Paul Pogba and Madrid captain Sergio Ramos among the other big names further down the list.

Kaka was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win the Ballon d'Or, the Brazilian claiming the title in 2007 while starring for AC Milan.

Ballon d'Or final placings in full: 

29= Isco (Real Madrid), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

28= Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)

25= Alisson (Roma/Liverpool), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)

22= Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Marcelo (Real Madrid)

19= Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

17= Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

16= Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

15= Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

14= Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea/Real Madrid)

13= Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

12= Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) 

11= N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)

10= Harry Kane (Tottenham)

9= Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

8= Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

7= Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)

6= Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

5= Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

4= Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

3= Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)

2= Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Juventus)

1= Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Luka Modric has been crowned the Ballon d'Or winner for 2018, beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann to claim the prize on Monday.

Antoine Griezmann is proud to have been on the Ballon d'Or podium but expressed his surprise at missing out on the top prize.

Griezmann won both the Europa League and World Cup in 2018, the striker inspirational in the respective triumphs of Atletico Madrid and France.

But he finished third in the voting for the Ballon d'Or, with Cristiano Ronaldo in second while Luka Modric became the first Croatian to win the honour.

Griezmann has made no secret of his desire to win football's top individual honour and was left frustrated by being overlooked in favour of Ronaldo and Modric.

"When I found out you didn't have to be at home with me the first two days," Griezmann joked.

"No, it's a great pride to be on the podium, to be a world champion.

"I'm counting on my team-mates in the club and the national team to be in Luka's place in the future.

"I won a Europa League, a World Cup, what else do I have to do? I do not know."

Kylian Mbappe missed out on a place in the top three too, finishing fourth in the voting, although he did walk away with the inaugural Kopa Trophy.

And the Paris Saint-Germain teenager, Griezmann's team-mate in France's Russia 2018 triumph, was more conciliatory.

"A disappointment? Well, from where I come, it's no problem," he said.

"In a short time I arrived at the seventh [in 2017] and fourth place, the three players before me more deserved it more than I.

"I have to work to be in this place in the future."

Luka Modric has ended Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's 10-year domination of the Ballon d'Or by claiming world football's most coveted individual prize.

Luka Modric described winning the Ballon d'Or as a unique honour after beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann to the individual award.

Modric is the first Croatia player to win the Ballon d'Or and his triumph at Monday's ceremony ends the decade-long dominance of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have five titles apiece.

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

But the France Football-organised Ballon d'Or is still considered the top individual honour in world football, with Modric delighted to be recognised as the finest player on the planet in 2018.

"It's a unique feeling, I'm happy, proud and it's an honour," Modric said on collecting the prize. "[There are] extraordinary emotions at the moment. 

"I just want to thank all those who helped me to be here tonight, I thank my team-mates, my coaches, the staff and Real Madrid, all those who work there, the coaches and team-mates in the national team, the ones who voted for me and my family, which allows me to blossom as a person.

"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.

"It's a great pleasure to be here around these players. I keep thinking, I'm trying to get used to being part of this group of exceptional players who have won the Ballon d'Or in history. It's a great pleasure to be part of this group.

"Throughout my career I understood that work, persistence, believing in yourself, is the basis for expressing your talent. I like a saying - the best is never easy. For me, it was not easy. It was necessary to seize the opportunities."

Real Madrid midfielder Modric feels playing deeper in midfield for club and country has enabled him to take his game to the next level.

"To change position allowed me to develop my game, before I was more an offensive player," said Modric, who won a third consecutive Champions League title with Madrid this year.

"When I retreated, I had a better vision of the game, I could better express my creativity, my game. In my second year in Tottenham, I played as a midfielder and I felt better in the middle."

Ronaldo finished second in the voting, with Atletico Madrid striker and France international Griezmann in third after winning both the World Cup and the Europa League in 2018.

Kylian Mbappe missed out on a place in the top three but was given the inaugural Kopa Trophy for the world's best male player aged under 21.

Luka Modric has been crowned the winner of the Ballon d'Or, capping a wonderful 2018 for the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder.

The Ballon d'Or has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the past decade, the rivals winning the award five times apiece.

But Modric's impact in Croatia's run to the World Cup final, coupled with Madrid winning the Champions League for the third year in a row, saw him triumph.

Modric - also crowned FIFA's Best Men's Player this year - pipped World Cup winners including Raphael Varane, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann to the award.

Lionel Messi has missed out on a place in the Ballon d'Or's top three for the first time since 2006.

Messi has won the award five times, dominating the France Football prize with Cristiano Ronaldo for the past decade.

But it was confirmed on Monday that the Barcelona superstar had finished fifth in the voting for the 2018 award.

Luka Modric is the favourite to win this year's Ballon d'Or, the 33-year-old expected to pip Ronaldo to the prize.

The Real Madrid midfielder helped his side win a third consecutive Champions League title and starred in the World Cup.

Croatia reached the final of the tournament for the first time with Modric inspirational, winning the Golden Ball for his efforts.

 

Ballon d'Or final placings: 

29= Isco (Real Madrid), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

28= Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)

25= Alisson (Roma/Liverpool), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)

22= Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Marcelo (Real Madrid)

19= Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

17= Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

16= Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

15= Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

14= Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea/Real Madrid)

13= Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

12= Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) 

11= N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)

10= Harry Kane (Tottenham)

9= Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

8= Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

7= Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)

6= Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

5= Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Neymar, Paul Pogba and Luis Suarez have all missed out on the top 10 of the Ballon d'Or.

Luka Modric is the favourite to be crowned winner of the prestigious individual prize on Monday, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann his main competition.

Ronaldo and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi have won the award five times each in a decade of dominance for the duo.

Neymar has long-been touted as a future winner of the Ballon d'Or but the Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil star ranked 12th in the final reckoning.

Pogba also missed out on the top 10 despite playing a leading role in France's triumph at the World Cup, with his international team-mate and Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante finishing four places higher.

Thibaut Courtois was 14th in the voting, the Belgium and Real Madrid goalkeeper the top player for his position.

 

Ballon d'Or positions 30-11:

29= Isco (Real Madrid), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

28= Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)

25= Alisson (Roma/Liverpool), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)

22= Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Marcelo (Real Madrid)

19= Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

17= Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

16= Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

15= Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

14= Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea/Real Madrid)

13= Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

12= Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) 

11= N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)

Hugo Lloris, Isco, Alisson, Diego Godin and Mario Mandzukic are among the players to have their Ballon d'Or placings confirmed.

Luka Modric is the favourite to be win the prize at Monday's ceremony, ending the decade-long dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Award organisers France Football have announced the first placings of the 30-man shortlist, with Edinson Cavani, Marcelo and Sadio Mane also included.

Thibaut Courtois is the only remaining shortlisted goalkeeper so he will be the top player for his position in the final reckoning, adding to the Golden Glove the Real Madrid stopper won at the World Cup with Belgium.

Madrid have already had the placings of three players revealed, with Isco, Marcelo and captain Sergio Ramos all missing out on the top 10.

29= Isco (Real Madrid), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

28= Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)

25= Alisson (Liverpool), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)

22= Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Marcelo (Real Madrid)

19= Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

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