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Luka Modric ends Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo’s dominance

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Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade.




Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final.

Former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win it.

Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, came second.

Barcelona forward Messi finished fifth, with Atletico Madrid frontman Antoine Griezmann and PSG attacker Kylian Mbappe – both of whom won the World Cup with France – third and fourth respectively.

Victory caps a stellar year for Modric, who also was named the world’s top male player at the Best Fifa Football Awards and received the Golden Ball award for the best player at the World Cup.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Modric, the first Croatian player to win the award. “It’s a big pleasure to be here among all these players.

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“I am still trying to realise that I have become part of a group of exceptional players to win the Ballon d’Or.”

Modric described Ronaldo and Messi as “phenomenal players”, adding: “To win means I did something really special on the pitch this year, that’s why 2017-18 was the year for me.”

The former Tottenham midfielder, who began his senior career with Dinamo Zagreb, thanked his parents for the “sacrifices” they made to allow him to become a professional.

“In my career I’ve realised that hard work and persistence in difficult moments sets the foundation to show your talent,” he added.

“One phrase I like to say: ‘The best things never come easy.’ For me to achieve all this, nothing was easy.”

Lyon and Norway striker Ada Hegerberg, 23, won the inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or while Mbappe, 19, became the first winner of the Kopa Trophy – awarded to the best under-21 player and selected by former Ballon d’Or winners.

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The top 10

1. Luka Modric (Real Madrid and Croatia)

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal)

3. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid and France)

4. Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain and France)

5. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)

6. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)

7. Raphael Varane (Real Madrid and France)

8. Eden Hazard (Chelsea and Belgium)

9. Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium)

10. Harry Kane (Tottenham and England)

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Thailand pick March 24 for first general election

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Thailand Election Commission has confirmed its readiness to carryout their first election on March 24, chairman Ittiporn Boonprakong told the  newsmen.



The commission admitted that the elections would have been held on Feb. 24, but the military government expressed concern that election-related events would clash with early preparations for the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, scheduled for May 4-6.

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In a statement, the Office of the Prime Minister said it would be inappropriate for election events to “unnecessarily coincide with the scheduling of the Coronation Ceremony.

The junta has pushed back the election several times for various reasons after overthrowing the democratically elected government of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014,

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duo the delay has lead to street protests for months, but he said that there is need for everybody to maintain peace in-order to protect the image of  country.

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Former communication minister arrested over corruption in Ethiopia.

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Ethiopia’s former Communication Minister, Bereket Simon, has been arrested by the federal government at his residence in the capital, Addis Ababa, multiple news sources, state and private, have reported.



Simon is also a founding member of the ruling coalition, the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF. Multiple local mdia channels are reporting that his arrest is in connection with corruption.

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Another arrested official is Tadesse Kassa, a former top civil servant. Simon was a member of the Amhara regional bloc in the EPRDF.

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His party, now the Amhara Democratic Party ousted him from executive committee membership.

Bereket resigned his position in government in October 2017 at the time as an advisor in charge of Policy Studies and Research to ex Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

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