The Ballon d’Or is an annual individual trophy awarded to the best performing player of the year. Back in 2018, Croatian midfielder, Luka Modric, won the award. It was the first time anyone other than Messi or Ronaldo has won the award since Kaka in ’07.
In 2018 did Modric deserve the award over any of the other nominees?
Antoine Griezmann, who placed third in the final rankings, had arguably a better season than the Croatian playmaker.
In 2018, Modric had won his third consecutive Champions League with Real Madrid. Griezmann had won the Europa League with Atletico Madrid. He also managed to beat Modric in 2 different finals. Atletico beat Real Madrid in the UEFA Supercup final(Winner of Europa and Champ. League) and Griezmann won the World Cup with France over Modric’s Croatia.
Throughout the entire season, Modric had only managed to score 2 goals. While at the same time Griezmann was soaring with 19 goals. Including one in the Europa League final and another in the World Cup final.
Modric provided 5 assists in 2017/18. This a low stat when you’re playing alongside top goalscorers such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. Griezmann again beats Modric as he provided 9 assists for Atletico Madrid.
Another important, yet overlooked stat is each player’s defensive work rates.
Atletico’s style of play is very defensive and relies on a counter-attacking play to score goals. So it would make sense Griezmann racks up 30 successful tackles in a match.
On the contrary, Real play a completely opposite style of play ,which involves a lot more possession to allow a build-up up the field to break down opponents and score a goal. As a result, Modric’s role isn’t as defensively demanding as he only racks up 23 tackles per contest.
This stat is shocking, Modric-who is a midfielder should be contributing more tackles per game than Griezmann, as Modric has a more defensive role.
Clearly the numbers speak for themselves. Luka Modric had an average season, while Griezmann was on fire in 2018 and the Ballon d’OR should have been awarded to the player who had the best season…Antoine Griezmann