Croatia commander Luka Modric was named Balkan Athlete of the Year on Thursday, ending up just the second soccer player to scoop the prize after Bulgaria’s previous European Footballer of the Year Hristo Stoichkov in 1994.
Ballon d’Or victor Modric won the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup with his Spanish club Real Madrid and in addition being instrumental in helping Croatia achieve the World Cup last in Russia. He was granted the competition’s Golden Ball Award.
The 33-year-old, who got 75 points in the 46th survey, sorted out by Bulgarian News Agency (BTA), beat Serbia’s reality number one tennis player Novak Djokovic, who bested the yearly survey multiple times in succession somewhere in the range of 2011 and 2015.
Another tennis player, Romania’s Simona Halep, who completed the year as ladies’ reality number one for the second back to back season, came third in the survey, which is directed by the state-run news offices in nine Balkan nations.