Modric wins 2018 Ballon d'Or, ending decade-long Ronaldo and Messi reign

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Luka Modric

It’s the end of an era.

The Ballon d’Or has a new recipient following a 10-year duopoly that saw either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo take home the prestigious individual award.

Luka Modric has claimed the 2018 edition, becoming the first player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win the Ballon d’Or since Kaka in 2008.

The Real Madrid midfielder won the 2017/18 Champions League title before playing a pivotal role in Croatia’s phenomenal run to the World Cup final in Russia.

2018 Ballon d'Or winner

2018 Ballon d’Or winner

Messi placed fifth in the rankings, the first time he finished outside the top three since 2006.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo made it to the final four, along with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, but eventually lost out to his former Madrid team-mate.

Mbappe took home the inaugural Kopa Trophy for the best young player.

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Mbappe wins inaugural Kopa Trophy at Ballon d'Or ceremony

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Kylian Mbappe won the inaugural Kopa Trophy for young player of the year at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris on Monday.

The 19-year-old enjoyed a stellar 2018, winning the World Cup with France in the summer in Russia where he was also named best young player of the tournament.

The new award is named after French former Ballon d’Or winner Raymond Kopa.

Mbappe was accompanied by his father and younger brother Ethan to the award ceremony. The Paris Saint-Germain forward scored four goals at the World Cup, including one in the final as France beat Croatia 4-2 in Moscow.

He became only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final after Brazilian great Pele.

Mbappe has scored 32 goals in 56 games for club and country in the calendar year.

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Top-five legendary England v Netherlands clashes after Nations League semi-final draw

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England have been drawn to play the Netherlands in the semi-finals of the Nations League.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five past meetings between the two sides.

England 8 Netherlands 2, friendly, November 27, 1946

Just the second official meeting between the two sides led to a thumping win for England. Walter Winterbottom’s side were far superior and romped into a 6-1 lead at the break, in no small part thanks to an 11-minute hat-trick from then-Chelsea striker Tommy Lawton. He added a fourth, England’s eighth.

England 0 Netherlands 2, friendly, February 9, 1977

Captained by the masterful Johan Cruyff, Holland turned Wembley orange with a tremendous display which saw the visitors cheered off by England fans at half-time. Cruyff, who died two years ago after a battle with cancer, was at his sparkling best as a brace from Jan Peters sealed the win before the break. Don Revie’s side included the likes of Kevin Keegan and Trevor Brooking, but they were left chasing shadows as ‘Total football’ arrived in London.

England 1-3 Netherlands, Euro 88, June 15, 1988

Over 11 years later in Dusseldorf the outcome was the same, although this time it was Marco Van Basten who inflicted the damage. Having lost to the Republic of Ireland in their opening Group B match, a hat-trick from Van Basten piled on the misery for Bobby Robson’s side, who had levelled through captain Bryan Robson. Holland’s team also boasted Frank Rijkaard, Ronald Koeman and Ruud Gullit and went on to lift the trophy, while England finished bottom of the group without a point from their three games.

Netherlands 2-0 England, World Cup qualifying, October 13, 1993

A match made famous for Koeman escaping a blatant red card for pulling down David Platt when he was through on goal and then going on to open the scoring with a retaken free-kick, and a meltdown from England boss Graham Taylor. England needed a draw in Rotterdam to all but seal World Cup qualification, but they were beaten with Dennis Bergkamp getting the second goal, as Taylor lost his cool in the dugout. He was caught in a documentary saying “Do I not like that” several times and resigned the following month.

England 4-1 Netherlands, Euro 96, June 18, 1996

If Holland had played their ‘Total football’ at Wembley in 1977, Terry Venables’ side turned the tables with an enthralling display on home soil in 1996. In a summer which allowed England fans to dream of major championship glory 30 years after lifting the World Cup, the Three Lions destroyed Guus Hiddink’s side, with Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham scoring two each. Patrick Kluivert scored a consolation for the Dutch, who fell at the quarter-final stage. England lost on penalties to Germany in the semi-final, with Gareth Southgate’s decisive spot-kick saved.

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