Perez expects Madrid's 'beautiful love story' with Ballon d'Or to continue
Posted On March 22, 2019
The Croatia midfielder became the latest star from the club to win the award and their president believes more will follow
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez expects Luka Modric will not be the last star from Los Blancos to win the Ballon d’Or.
Modric’s efforts for Madrid and for World Cup finalists Croatia in 2018 were rewarded with football’s top individual honour on Monday as he pipped former Santiago Bernabeu favourite Cristiano Ronaldo to the award.
Ronaldo, who joined Juventus in July, is a five-time winner of the prize and won in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 when he was a Madrid player.
The former Manchester United man claimed he left Spain due to a breakdown in his relationship with Perez, yet Modric has continued Madrid’s recent domination of France Football’s annual gong.
“Real Madrid have a very important affair with this prestigious trophy,” Perez said. “It’s a beautiful love story between the Ballon d’Or and Real Madrid and I’m sure it’s going to continue.”
It was the 10th time in history a Real Madrid player has won the award, while Modric became seventh individual player from the club to win it.
Alfredo di Stefano won two of the first four Ballon d’Or awards in 1957 and 1959, while team-mate Raymond Copa took home the trophy in 1958.
Despite that early success, the pair were the last two Madrid players to win the Ballon d’Or for over 40 years, until another Portugal superstar, Luis Figo, broke the drought with his victory in 2000.
Madrid saw much more frequent successes following Figo’s breakthrough, with Brazil legend Ronaldo winning in 2002, the striker’s second triumph after he won as a member of Inter in 1997.
Four years later in 2006, Italy international Fabio Cannavaro secured the Ballon d’Or, with the defender being the last Madrid player to win the award until Ronaldo took it home in 2013, his second win after 2008, when he was a member of Manchester United.
This season, Madrid also had defender Raphael Varane finish seventh, while Sergio Ramos, Thibaut Courtois, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Marcelo and Isco were all named to the 30-man shortlist.