The world XI based on the 2018 Ballon d'Or rankings alone


Has Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s duopoly been ended for good or has it only been temporarily stopped?

Luka Modric’s Ballon d’Or win ended a decade of dominance from Ronaldo and Messi as he became the first player other than the superstar duo to claim the award.

The midfielder had a sensational 2018, helping Real Madrid win the Champions League before leading Croatia to a World Cup final.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo finished second after he also helped Madrid to their third consecutive European triumph, while Messi, rather astonishingly, came fifth.

With arguably the greatest player to have ever played the game finishing outside the top four, it led to many football fans questioning the value of the award.

But instead of just praising Modric for winning the award, we’ve decided to create a world XI based on the Ballon d’Or rankings.

As always, the rankings are extremely top-heavy, full of attacking players. You have to really scan down the list to find some defensive-minded players.


But we’ve done that and carved out a 4-3-3 formation based on the Ballon d’Or list alone and it’s bad news for Messi once again.


Here it is - with their Ballon d’Or ranking in brackets:


Thibaut Courtois | 14th

AS Roma v Real Madrid  - UEFA Champions League Group G

Sergio Ramos | 19th

Raphael Varane | 7th

Diego Godin | 28th

Marcelo | 22nd

AS Roma v Real Madrid  - UEFA Champions League Group G

Luka Modric | 1st

Kevin de Bruyne | 9th

N'Golo Kante | 11th


Antoine Griezmann | 3rd

Cristiano Ronaldo | 2nd

Kylian Mbappé | 4th


That’s not a bad side, is it?

Of course, the likes of Messi (5th) and Mohamed Salah (6th) will feel hard done by that they haven’t made the XI but, according to the Ballon d’Or rankings, there are three better attackers than them.

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