Modric helped Los Blancos claim a third straight Champions League title in a 3-1 victory over Liverpool in May that saw Modric win 100 per cent of his tackles without committing a foul and post a 94-per-cent accuracy rate with his passing.
World Cup winners N'Golo Kante (11) and Paul Pogba (15) finished in the top 20 after being recognised for their performances in Russian Federation.
Where will the Ballon d'Or ceremony be held?
Both Ronaldo and Messi had won it five times apiece over a 10-year run, and all three men were named to France Football's 30-player shortlist in October.
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After 13 games, the Old Lady have won 12 and drawn just one, leaving them eight points ahead of second-placed Napoli.
There has been much less talk about Raphael Varane, a player whose achievements in 2018 arguably make him more deserving of the ultimate individual recognition than anyone else. Lionel Messi could only manage fifth place, behind Kylian Mbappé. "I have sensational feelings in me at the moment which I find hard to describe".
"My dream was to play for a big club and win important trophies", said Modric, who received the award from presenter and former France forward David Ginola during a ceremony at the Grand Palais in Paris.
The teenage talent has enjoyed a sensational year, winning a plethora of domestic titles with the Parisians, as well as lifting the World Cup with Les Bleus in Russian Federation over the summer.
This year marked a new era for the Ballon d'Or, as France Football handed out the inaugural women's honour.