Croatia star Luka Modric has described winning the 2018 Ballon d’Or as a unique honor, thanking his coaches and teammates for the feat.
The Real Madrid star became the first Croat to win the award as well as breaking the decade-long dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Speaking after he was handed the award, the former Tottenham star said “It’s a unique feeling, I’m happy, proud and it’s an honor.
“(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 honor 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.”