Modric, crowned the Best FIFA Men's Player 2018, testified previous year at the trial of a tax official and three former senior officials from Dinamo Zagreb, including its former chief executive Zdravko Mamic.
"As a kid we all have dreams". My dream was to play for a big club, to win important trophies.
Ronaldo came second in the polling, missing out on a record sixth award, followed by France forward Antoine Griezmann.
Modric also received the best men's player prize at the FIFA Best awards in September. Brazil star Neymar, who was third a year ago, was a lowly 12th despite a domestic treble with Paris Saint-Germain.
The first women's Ballon d'Or was awarded to Lyon's Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg, who scored 53 goals for the club in 33 appearances last season and has 14 in as many games to date during the current campaign. The Portuguese ended up as runner-up, while Messi was not even in the top three.
Modric guided Croatia to the World Cup final against France
The last player to win it before those two started dominating world football awards was Brazil midfielder Kaka with AC Milan in 2007. I want to thank my teammates and coaches at Real Madrid and those with the national team. "I want to end this speech with a message to all young girls in the world".
French disc jockey Martin Solveig appeared to embarrass Hegerberg when he asked her if she would "twerk" after she collected the trophy.
'It's hard to find the words to express how I feel, ' Modric said.
"He told me how he was seeing me as a player and what he was expecting from me". It was a really special year for me.
The native of Zadar starred at June's World Cup in which Croatia reached the Final for the first time where they ultimately fell 4-2 to France.
"I admired him and I respected him a lot when he was a player". I don't think the respect has been there. "I do not know".
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