Olivier Giroud backs a Frenchman or Luka Modric to win the Ballon d’Or

France international Olivier Giroud has stressed that he does not give any importance to the FIFA Best Men’s award and he is only interested in the Ballon d’Or. He added that one of his compatriots or Luka Modric should win the individual gong this year, thus ending the dominance from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi over the past decade.

Speaking to Le Parisien, Giroud said: "It is very surprising, but, to be honest, I do not attach importance to this trophy. I'm only interested in the Ballon d'Or. "It must be a Frenchman or Modric [who wins the Ballon d'Or]. If I could vote, I know which of my partners I would choose, but I will not tell you."

Didier Deschamps names Antoine Griezmann as potential Ballon d’Or candidate

France manager Didier Deschamps has highlighted Antoine Griezmann as one among the potential candidates who could compete for the Ballon d’Or crown. The Atletico Madrid star was one among the many standout performers for Les Bleus during the recent World Cup and Deschamps believes the marksman should come at least close to the prestigious accolade.

Speaking to L’Equipe, he said: “He's a potential candidate for the Ballon d'Or, yes, he deserves it. It's not just him, but he deserves it. The Ballon d'Or, that would be a very good thing.We've seen so many times, there are two who are still there... Come on, even three, you have Messi, Ronaldo with everything they represent in the world and what they do. Neymar too, even if he arrives behind.”

Raphael Varane backs ‘alien’ Kylian Mbappe for the Ballon d’Or

France international Raphael Varane has backed compatriot Kylian Mbappe to compete for the Ballon d’Or after standing out for the Les Bleus during the recent World Cup. The 19-year-old netted four goals over the course of the tournament including one in the 4-2 triumph over Croatia in the final.

As such, he has been earned plenty of praise from fans and pundits alike and Varane has now mentioned the teenager as a genuine contender for the Ballon d’Or accolade, he said:“If he does not win the next Ballon d'Or, we will tell him that it is not normal -- we will yell at him! Yes, Kylian is a more precocious talent than I was. His intelligence and maturity really left an impression -- his talent is monstrous. I have known some extra-terrestrial talents in my time, but I think that this is the first time that I have met a young alien! Everything moves quickly. When I speak tactics with him pre-match, I do not have time to finish my sentences -- he has already understood and assimilated it.”

Dejan Lovren: Luka Modric would win Ballon d’Or if he was German or Spanish

Croatia international Dejan Lovren believes Luka Modric would have been vying for the Ballon d’Or title if he had come from one of Germany or Spain. The Real Madrid star has been a consistent performer for club and country over the years and he has already contributed a couple of goals for Croatia during the ongoing World Cup in Russia.

As such, his compatriot Lovren has praised his qualities and feels he would be in contention for the Ballon d’Or, had he come from a better-recognised country like Germany or Spain, he said: “Modric would probably be getting more attention than he is right now if he was a German or Spanish player. He would maybe even be a Ballon d’Or winner. But because we are a smaller country, he does get less attention than he deserves. We are all football lovers and we know Modric is an incredible player.”

Luka Modric is the Best Candidate for Ballon D’Or Title, Claims Croatia Legend

Croatia legend Davor Suker claims that he would pick Luka Modric as the winner of the upcoming Ballon d'Or title. The Croatian midfielder has been in stunning form over the last 12 months and he was able to help Real Madrid win the Champions League for the third consecutive time. She may not have come up with a large number of goals, but the 31-year-old has been able to silently dictated the pace of the game and style of play. If the impact with Real Madrid may not have gone unnoticed due to the attention on Cristiano Ronaldo, Modric has been able to follow his exploits with his club into the national team.

After being ranked as one of the rank outsiders for the World Cup title, Croatia find themselves in the final of the World Cup 2018. They have been able to reach the finals for the first time in their history. Even the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were unable to help the respective national teams get success at the World Cup. After having witnessed such a remarkable contribution from Modric,Suker says that it is justifiable that Luka Modric should be crowned as the winner of the upcoming Ballon d’Or title, which has long been shared by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Pablo Zabaleta: Messi Is Better Than When He Won Five Ballon d’Or Awards

Argentina international Pablo Zabaleta believes compatriot Lionel Messi has improved as a footballer despite failing to win the Ballon d’Or over the past couple of years. The Barcelona forward won his fifth Ballon d’Or title back in 2015 and he has watched Cristiano Ronaldo claim accolade since then.

In a report covered by Goal.com, Zabaleta hailed the qualities of his countryman and feels the forward has made significant progress in recent seasons, he said: “Messi today is much better than when he won the five Ballon d’Or awards. He’s a unique player, a type of player that we’ll probably never see again. “Seeing him develop is something that’s difficult to believe.”

Roberto Carlos: Neymar Won’t Win Ballon d’Or So Long As Messi And Ronaldo Are Around

Brazilian football legend Roberto Carlos does not believe compatriot Neymar has a chance of winning the Ballon d’Or accolade until the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo call time on their respective careers. The 26-year-old made the switch from Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain during the summer in order to enhance his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or, but Carlos feels the attacker has to settle for the third position so long as Messi and Ronaldo are in form.

Southgate On England Team

England manager Gareth Southgate believes that his players are now playing without any fear. He said that this fear factor has been a major stumbling block for past generation of England players and he feels that his current side is playing more freely.

He said that his current generation of England players enjoys having the ball and that they are not afraid to provoke the opposition. He said that he has enjoyed the game against the Netherlands and this showed the maturity of the players. He said that the England players played with great composure and showed a good tactical control of the game. Gareth Southgate said that the best thing of all is that the players seem to be enjoying themselves on the pitch and this showed in the manner that they control the game and create opportunities.

Jurgen Klopp: Mohamed Salah On His Way To Earning Comparisons With Lionel Messi

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Mohamed Salah has been slowly building up his reputation to the level that he could be compared with five times Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi. The Egypt international scored the maiden quadruple of his professional career during the 5-0 thumping over Watford last weekend, and this sees him as the leading scorer across Europe’s top-five leagues ahead of Harry Kane and Messi.

Pep Guardiola tips Kevin de Bruyne for Ballon d'Or

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has tipped Kevin de Bruyne to compete for the 2018 Ballon d'Or after his exceptional performances in the Citizens shirt this season. The 26-year-old has evolved into a world-class midfielder under the tutelage of Guardiola, and he recently provided a hat-trick of assists during his side's 5-1 win over Leicester City in the Premier League.

Following the game, Guardiola was asked whether the Belgian could win the prestigious Ballon d'Or, and he admitted that it is a possibility, if the midfielder goes on to lift titles with the club this term, he said: "No doubt. He is not (just doing it in) one game. It’s the whole season, every three days playing that way. But he knows and everyone knows, to be there you have to win titles - and titles and titles, especially one. But the way he’s played it’s difficult to find one (better) in Europe."