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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.

Real Madrid ace Luka Modric is the bookies' hot favourite to secure glory after he helped guide Croatia to the World Cup final in Russian Federation.

With Ronaldo leading the way, Juve have made a strong start to the season, sitting eight points clear atop the Serie A and moving into the Champions League knockout round.

Ronaldo had won the previous two Ballon d'Or trophies but his exploits for club and country were not enough for him to win an unprecedented sixth title.

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

After his disappointing showing with Argentina in the summer, Lionel Messi isn't a contender for a top-three place.

Speaking after picking up the award, Modric said: "It is a unique feeling".

The winner, as has been rumoured for days, is somewhat controversially Real Madrid's Luka Modric, who is the clear victor ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann. "I have sensational feelings in me at the moment which I find hard to describe".

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.

Buoyed by his home country's FIFA World Cup win in Russian Federation where he won the Man of the Match award for his goal-scoring exploits in the competition's final game, the forward has made the list of very few players who could actually win the award.

The victor of the 2018 Ballon d'Or has been leaked hours before the official ceremony.

The 19-year-old fended off stiff competition from Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic, Roma's Justin Kluivert and AC Milan duo Gianluigi Donnarumma and Patrick Cutrone among other young stars.

The root of it is the fact that of all the nominees put forward by France Football, the publication presiding over the Ballon d'Or, Varane is the only one who has won both the World Cup and the Champions League this year.

Among all the awards the victor of the women's Ballon d'Or was also announced, and Ada Hegerberg took the accolade after her performances for Lyon and Norway saw the former clinch the Champions League title.


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