Cristiano Ronaldo set to boycott this year's Ballon d'Or ceremony

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Luka Modric, the favourite to win the 2018 Ballon d'Or, will be accompanied to the award ceremony in Paris on December 3 by club president Florentino Pérez and Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, as well as his family.

The highly respected Spanish newspaper claims the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder will end the 10-year duopoly of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo should win the Ballon d'Or for a third consecutive season, according to Juventus team-mate Balise Matuidi.

This year, Barcelona's Messi is not even in the top three. Both enjoyed bumper domestic seasons in La Liga, with Ronaldo plundering 44 goals in all competitions to Messi's 44.

"I am very surprised that Messi isn't there", he said to Marca.

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Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois, formerly of Chelsea, was the highest-ranked goalkeeper in this year's Ballon d'Or list in 14th, while his former Blues teammate N'Golo Kanté took 11th place.

While Ronaldo won another Champions League with Real Madrid in a typically prolific year, and Messi continues to mesmerise for Barcelona, both are now in their 30s and neither really stamped their authority on the World Cup in Russian Federation.

The 19-year-old's World Cup performances were key for France - and he has continued to impress for PSG.

But Varane has played a crucial role in winning the two biggest trophies in world football in 2018 and if that isn't enough for a defender to get Ballon d'Or recognition, nothing will be.

The ceremony will begin from the Grand Palais in Paris on Monday evening.

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