Blaise Matuidi insists Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon d’Or

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The highly respected Spanish newspaper claims the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder will end the 10-year duopoly of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The award is aptly named after former French and Real Madrid great Raymond Kopa, and the victor of the award is also selected by former Ballon d'Or winners.

As FIFA president Gianni Infantino said recently: "You could give the Ballon d'Or to half the France team for what they did at the World Cup". It will be the first time since since the 2007 Ballon d'Or, which was won by Kaka, will go to a new recipient.

Sky Italia are reporting that Real Madrid's Croatian midfielder Luka Modric will take home the award, on the back of a Champions League winning season punctuated by an unlikely run to last summer's World Cup Final in Moscow.

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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.

This year, Barcelona's Messi is not even in the top three.

Former Tottenham and France great David Ginola will host the Ballon d'Or 2018 awards ceremony.

The inaugural women's award was also handed out on Monday with Ada Hegerberg of Olympique Lyonnais claiming the honour.

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The Frenchman finished third in the race for the award in 2016, and may be set for a better ranking this time around.

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.

Like Griezmann, the 19-year-old played a crucial role in France's World Cup winning team in Russian Federation, having scored 4 goals (including one in the finals) to win him the competition's Young Player Award.

Griezmann's global team-mate Kylian Mbappe was named in fourth place, with Messi fifth.

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The Ballon d'Or ceremony will be available on France Football's official website.

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