In December 2007, Kaka won the Ballon d'Or and he wouldn't have known what a historic moment it would be for the Brazilian. Not only had he entered the history books, but he was the last man to win it who wasn't Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. With five Ballon d'Ors each, their domination began in 2008 with the Portuguese attacker winning as a Manchester United player.
Other than the duopoly, no other Ballon d'Or winner is still playing given that Kaka retired a year ago. Their reign will end on Monday as, on December 3, 2018, Luka Modric will recoup the trophy from their hands and be crowned the Balon d'Or. Like Kaka, he will enter history as the first Croatian winner and the first player to beat the duo to the award.
No longer for two
The gala begins at 20:45 and will see Modric achieve the impossible against two superstars. The World Cup in Russia this summer has proved a strong influence as well as Modric's success with Real Madrid.
In Europe, a third consecutive Champions League title made him a leader in a legendary team, whilst he also took a team to the World Cup final only to be defeated by France, boasting the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane and Kylian Mbappe.
End of a cycle
The balance began to swing his way after the World Cup, winning a variety of individual awards, such as UEFA's best player in Europe in August and FIFA's The Best in October. The Ballon d'Or remains the peak, but it will bring an end to the cycle.
In December of last year, Modric was in the background of these events, congratulating Cristiano Ronaldo from the crowds as the Portuguese celebrated his fifth Ballon d'Or at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. This time, he will receive the award and will do so in Paris accompanied by Florentino Perez, Sergio Ramos, Raul and Roberto Carlos.
Free football predictions & tips worldwide...