Football news - Eden Hazard: Luka Modric deserves to win Ballon d’Or
Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric deserves to win the Ballon d'Or according to Chelsea and Belgium forward Eden Hazard.
Modric, 33, is favourite to break the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly after a year that featured another Champions League win with Real and a World Cup where he was voted best player and finished runner-up with Croatia.
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Blues forward Hazard has emerged as an outside bet after he followed up a strong World Cup of his own with a red-hot start to the season, hitting seven goals and three assists in eight games, but insists that Modric deserves the win.
" There are three to four players. I could say [Madrid and France defender Raphael] Varane because he won a lot too. I could deserve it too, let's not lie."
"But seriously, I think that Modric will win it. It is going to be a reward for his wonderful season in the Champions League and the final of the World Cup."
Luka Modric, FIFA Best 2018Getty Images
Modric is the favourite after winning the FIFA gong for the men's player of the year.
Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the award since 2008 with five awards between them, but a Modric victory would end their decade-long domination of the prestigious honour.
A panel of journalists select the Ballon d'Or winner which was first established in 1956 and will this year feature a women's award for the first time.
The award merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year prize from 2010-15 to create the FIFA Ballon d'Or, but returned to France Football magazine in 2016 while FIFA established The Best awards.
Sir Stanley Matthews won the first Ballon d'Or in 1956.
With additional reporting from agencies and staff