By Fatih Erel</p> <p>ISTANBUL (AA) - Real Madrid's Croatian midfielder Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d'Or award for the best player of the year. </p> <p>33-year-old footballer won the award for the first time and he became the third player to claim the award after Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo in a decade.</p> <p>Since 2008, Messi and Ronaldo won the award 5 times each. </p> <p>Each year, France Football magazine awards its Ballon d'Or trophy to the world's best football player.
Ballon d'Or was organized by FIFA and France Football until 2015 but they split and FIFA set up its own awards since 2016.
Modric also won FIFA award for best men's player of the year and UEFA Men's Player of the Year award in 2018.
Modric won his third UEFA Champions League in May and played in Croatia to help his team to reach their first World Cup final.