The Catalan media have slammed the Ballon d'Or after Leo Messi finishes fifth

Barcelona's Lionel Messi

Luka Modric was officially crowned the 2018 Ballon d'Or winner yesterday evening.

The Real Madrid midfielder became the first player since Kaka in 2007 to win the prestigious award other than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Modric was instrumental in Los Blancos' Champions League triumph and also picked up the Golden Ball award for his performances with Croatia at the World Cup.

However, his poor start to the 2018/19 season and the consistency shown by Ronaldo and Messi throughout the year has sparked a lot of debate over whether Modric was a worthy winner.

The likes of Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane and Kylian Mbappe were also all strong contenders as well after their domestic form and World Cup triumph with France.

But the real injustice to a lot of football fans was the fact that Messi was placed fifth in the rankings.

The Argentine won a double with Barcelona and was presented with the European Golden Shoe - he's the highest scoring player in 2018 with 41 goals in 45 appearances for Barca.

And the Catalan media have published some scathing columns in the wake of the decision by journalists and France Football.

Catalan newspaper Sport, per Sport Witness, wrote in one Tuesday column that Modric winning the award "shows that in voting the criteria of marketing and fashion are imposed, and also that the voters do not even consider the award regulations themselves."

Modric with the Ballon d'Or

Sport also write that the award only takes ‘individual performance during the year’ into account, instead of looking at the whole sporting career of the player.

Given the fact the award is presented on a yearly basis, that seems incredibly naive from the media over in Barcelona.

Another column brings up the fact that when Messi was leading a social media poll from France Football on who should win the award, all record of it was deleted.

Sport wrote: "One more indication that Leo was not going to be the protagonist of the awards, since the correspondents of the magazine opted for other options while the direction of the publication chose to silence the voice of the fans."

Messi in action vs Villarreal

And finally, the paper question whether the whole award really is just politics instead of football: "These awards are, first and foremost, marketing. And one of the laws of marketing is to run away from the repetitive, avoid the tiredness of the public."

Do you agree with the Catalan media's response to the Ballon d'Or? Have your say in the comment box below.

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