Modric and Varane lead Ballon d’Or chase

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Luka Modric at a Liga match between Real Madrid and Celta Vigo, in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on January 6th, 2014 in Madrid, Spain

The announcement of the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner is less than a fortnight away and two Real Madrid stars are in with a chance of lifting football’s most coveted individual prize.

Luka Modric and Raphael Varane are both reported to be in with a chance of winning the accolade, with Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann also in the running.

Voting for the award has now closed and the winner will be announced at a ceremony in Paris on December 3.

Modric has always been a front-runner thanks to a superb year which has seen him win the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year gong and FIFA’s The Best accolade. Lifting the Ballon d’Or would cap a hat-trick of individual awards for the Croatian midfielder.

Varane’s edge could be winning the World Cup with France, along with Griezmann, although Modric is said to be the front-runner despite a dip in form since helping his country to runners-up at the World Cup in Russia.

Reports in France have suggested France Football, who run the award, have been in Madrid to film with the winners – suggesting Modric, Varane and Griezmann are the three players in the top-three.

In France, Radio Europe 1 reported that it will be Modric who wins the award ahead of his teammate Varane and countryman Kylian Mbappe.

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