Inside the bizarre Ballon d'Or: No Messi or Ronaldo, tears for Mbappe and Luka Modric looking like he wanted to be anywhere else



From the 'Most Time Spent Horizontal' to 'Nutritionist of the Year', the Exploding Heads present their quirky alternative Ballon d'Or awards.
PARIS — You almost felt sorry for Luka Modric, receiving the Ballon d'Or ("Golden Ball") for player of the year on stage in Paris's Grand Palais. It looked as if the French were punishing him for depriving one of their world champions of the prize.

There, on a table beside the stage, taunting him, stood the World Cup trophy itself, the one that his Croatia team lost in the final in Moscow this past July. On stage, David Ginola, the former French winger turned moderator, was throwing fatuous…



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