Real Madrid midfielder was named the winner of FIFA’s The Best awards on Monday night to end Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s dominance.
The 33-year-old scooped the prize with 29% of the votes, beating nearest challenger Ronaldo by 10% and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool, also on the podium, who won 11.2%.
Ronaldo and Messi, who ranked fifth this year, had shared the award – including during it’s Ballon d’Or rebranding – every years since 2007, when Kaka scooped the prize.
“This award is not just mine but it is my teammates from Real Madrid and Croatia,” Modric told the assembled audience in London.
“Without my coaches, I would not have won this and without my family I would not be the player I am today.”
Modric won the Champions League with Madrid – their third in a row – while he inspired his nation Croatia to their first ever World Cup final this summer.