He also won the best Federation Internationale de Football Association men's player earlier this year, beating competition from Ronaldo and Egypt's Mo Salah.
The inaugural women's award was also handed out on Monday with Ada Hegerberg of Olympique Lyonnais claiming the honour.
"To change position allowed me to develop my game, before I was more an offensive player", said Modric, who won a third consecutive Champions League title with Madrid this year. The 25-year-old, who came 10th overall, received 25 votes in total, with Kenya picking the England captain 2nd, Uzbekistan and Togo 3rd, Mongolia and Bosnia Herzegovina 4th, then Croatia, Kingdom of Lesotho, Mauritania, Malta, and Sri Lanka backed him in 5th.
"When I recounted all of the individual trophies that I've won this year and when I saw that I was among the 30 finalists, I began to believe it, but there's one thing I'll never forget". And Salah scored 44 goals in his debut season for Liverpool as well as reaching the Champions League final. Yes, 19 and already a World Cup victor.
The Croatian captain beat the likes of Juventus forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, Atletico Madrid ace, Antoine Griezmann, Paris Saint-Germain youngster, Kylian Mbappe and Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi to win the world individual top prize. Hegerberg refused and quickly left the stage.
"I'm a little amazed and astonished with what I'm reading on the internet, of course I didn't want to offend anyone", he said. To be made uncomfortable in front of hundreds in the crowd and millions on the screen, proves all that's wrong with the treatment of women's football. Little did she know that her biggest day was about to be marred by an inappropriate comment.
"Best player in the world....for those who understand football of course". I don't think the respect has been there.