Modric Beats Djokovic to Win Balkan Athlete of the Year
Croatia captain Luka Modric was named Balkan Athlete of the Year on Thursday, becoming only the second soccer player to scoop the prize after Bulgaria’s former ballon d’Or Winner Hristo Stoichkov in 1994.
Reigning World Player of the Year Modric won the Champions League and the Fifa Club World Cup with his Spanish club Real Madrid as well as being instrumental in helping Croatia reach the World Cup final in Russia. He was awarded the tournament’s Golden Ball Award.
The 33-year-old, who received 75 points in the 46th poll, organised by Bulgarian News Agency (BTA), beat Serbia’s world No 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic, who topped the annual poll five times in a row between 2011 and 2015.
Another tennis player, Romania’s Simona Halep, who finished the year as women’s world No 1 for the second consecutive season, came third in the poll, which is conducted by the state-run news agencies in nine Balkan countries.
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