Modric is the first Croatian player to ever win the award and only the second of his homeland to place in the top three after Davor Suker finished as a runner-up to Zinedine Zidane in 1998 while plying his trade for Real Madrid.
Modric helped Real Madrid win a third successive Champions League title in May and also captained Croatia to their first World Cup final, being named player of the tournament despite his side losing 4-2 to France. My dream was to play for a big club, to win important trophies.
France star Griezmann took third place in the poll, with fellow World Cup victor Mbappe was close behind.
Messi was relegated to the relative backwaters, by his standards, of fifth behind Griezmann's worldwide team-mate Kylian Mbappe, with Liverpool and Egypt striker Mohamed Salah the first Premier-League based player in the list. "The Ballon d'Or was more than just a dream for me and it is really an honour and a privilege to hold this trophy".
"It is hard to express my emotion and how I feel in words".
Luka Modric has won the 2018 Ballon d'Or award with the Croat dominating the voting system accumulating 753 points.
Modric guided Croatia to the World Cup final against France
Then Kaka was the 2007 victor, before joining Los Blancos from AC Milan in the summer of 2009, the same year that 2008 victor Ronaldo arrived from Manchester United.
The total points are then calculated and the player with the highest total will be the victor of the Ballon d'Or.
He was named in the Champions League "Team of the Season" and won the UEFA "Midfielder of the Season".
"I want to say thanks to France Football".
Messi, meanwhile, dropped outside the top two for the first time in 11 years and came in fifth this time.
Speaking in an interview shortly before collecting her Ballon d'Or, Hegerberg told The Associated Press on Monday she has no plans to reconsider her decision taken to preserve her "authenticity and my values, as a person, as a footballer". "It's a huge step for women's football", Hegerberg said.