Luka Modric is favourite to break Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s stronghold over the Ballon d’Or, according to the latest odds.
Each of the last 10 awards have gone to one of those two, however bet365 have installed Modric as 4/7 (1.57) market leader to claim the coveted prize and add to his 'The Best' title, which he was awarded by FIFA in September.
The Croatian midfielder had a stellar year for both club and country, winning the Champions League with Real Madrid before pulling the strings to lead his country to the World Cup final for the first time ever.
Despite yet another strong year in front of goal, during which he has netted 38 times including a hat-trick at the World Cup, the bookmakers feel that his recent domination of the award may come to an end.
Antoine Griezmann, who finished third in 2016, is available to back at 6/1 (7.0) after playing a pivotal part in helping Atletico Madrid to Europa League glory and France to their second World Cup crown.
Another key figure in France’s road to the Jules Rimet was Kylian Mbappe and the 19-year-old is priced at 12/1 (13.0) – the same as Messi, who can perhaps feel hard done by after netting 41 goals in 2018 so far.
The World Cup almost invariably influences the Ballon d’Or and yet another poor showing by Messi, who scored just once as Argentina crashed out in the quarter-finals, means the little maestro is unlikely to scoop the award.