Modric enjoyed a stellar season, winning a third consecutive Champions League with Real before leading Croatia to the World Cup final, where they lost to France.
Modric won the award earlier this morning, beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohammed Salah for the award.
Mohamed Salah was third with 11 percent after scoring a record 32 goals in a 38-game English Premier League season for Liverpool, which reached its first Champions League final in 11 years.
In his acceptance speech, the 33-year-old thanked his team-mates for club and country in English, Spanish and Croatian, and said how proud he was to win the prize with Croatian great Zvonimir Boban, now FIFA’s deputy general secretary sitting in the front row at the Royal Festival Hall. “So many people have come together and so many have supported me”, said Modric. “I’m very happy and proud… and looking forward to another award later tonight”.
Messi opted for eventual victor Modric as his top pick, placing France and PSG teen star Kylian Mbappe second and Ronaldo third.
The Belgium keeper also completed a UEFA and Federation Internationale de Football Association double having been awarded the Golden Glove for his performances at the World Cup.
Neither Messi nor Ronaldo were on hand to see the playmaker collect the award, as both missed the glitzy bash in London citing other commitments.
On the right, they are joined by prodigious wonderkid Kylian Mbappé (France – PSG), who after becoming the world’s second most expensive player ever, winning the World Cup and taking home the Best Young Player award at the event, all at the age of 19, already finds himself among the world’s elite.
Real Madrid’s former Chelsea stopper Thibaut Courtois beat off competition from Leicester’s Kasper Schmeichel and Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris to win the best goalkeeper accolade.
Top honors for men and women players and coaches were decided by a process that assigned four equal weights to the votes of fans, media, national team coaches and national team captains.
Former Barca star defender Dani Alves, now at Paris Saint-Germain, made up the defensive line for the World’s best as Chelsea pair N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard were named among the best midfielders.
“I am sure that in the future, you [Salah and Ronaldo] will have another chance [to win this award]”.