Ballon d’Or: New Stars Rise
Last night saw the annual Ballon d’Or awards break tradition and hit headlines as new names in world football rose to the spotlight.
Introducing the first women’s award, 23-year-old Lyon and Norway striker Ada Hegerberg made history, recognised as the best female player in the world. Hegerberg’s most notable performance was against Wolfsburg, scoring in the Champions League final which saw her team go on to win 4-1 earlier this year.
Real Madrid’s Luka Modric went on to win the 2018 Ballon d’Or award for his endless list of accolades this year, winning his fourth successive Champions League in May before playing a pivotal role in taking Croatia to their first World Cup final. Proving his skill globally, this is the first time a player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or in more than a decade.
Young star on the rise, Kylian Mbappe became the first winner of the Ballon d’Or Under-21 award. The Paris Saint-Germain forward has become one of the most exciting prospects when it comes to emerging talent, having scored in the World Cup final to win the tournament 4-2 for the France national team.
It has certainly been an exciting year full of world-class performances and tough competition, with ongoing discussion already surrounding who will take the awards next year.