Modric wins the Ballon d'Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Griezmann

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To commemorate the occasion, we have ranked the top five leaked award winners, and the probability of them winning the Ballon d'Or.

While Ronaldo won another Champions League with Real Madrid in a typically prolific year, and Messi continues to mesmerise for Barcelona, both are now in their 30s and neither really stamped their authority on the World Cup in Russian Federation.

In the run-up to the gala, several publications have claimed that the top three Ballon d'Or shortlist had been leaked, with each one naming a different trio.

The Madrid number 10 has won it all this year, including the best player of last season's Champions League and FIFA's The Best award, which had only previously been won by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi could only manage fifth place, behind Kylian Mbappé.

"It's a unique feeling".

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, the world's most expensive player, dropped to 12th having been voted third best in last year's poll.

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Despite the impressive statistics, Ronaldo is expected to miss out on the Ballon d'Or tonight.

The teenage talent has enjoyed a sensational year, winning a plethora of domestic titles with the Parisians, as well as lifting the World Cup with Les Bleus in Russian Federation over the summer.

"It's an unbelievable feeling", said Modric, who is the first Croatian player to win the award.

His incredible goal in the final even made him the second teenager in history to score in a World Cup final.

The Portuguese superstar also equalled a 61-year-old Juve record.

If Modric does indeed lift the trophy, it will be the first time since 2007 - when Kaka won the award - that it has not gone to Messi or Ronaldo.

A World Cup year, though, resets the generally understood criteria to judge what it takes for a player to rise above his peers.

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