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 keep thinking, I'm trying to get used to being part of this group of exceptional players who have won the Ballon d'Or in history. But the best wasn't there, the player who's been king of this sport for years.
The win was slightly overshadowed when the host DJ Martin Solveig asked Hegerberg to twerk on stage in celebration.
The 33-year-old was instrumental as Real clinched a third successive Champions League trophy last season. Modric had never previously been in the top three.
France Football magazine has been awarding the Ballon d'Or since 1956, and created a women's award for the first time this year.
Paris St Germain's France forward Kylian Mbappe, who also collected the Kopa award for the best under-21 player, came fourth, with Barca forward Messi finishing fifth.
Modric guided Croatia to the World Cup final against France
Hegerberg is a three-time Women's Champions League victor with French side Lyon and scored a tournament-record 15 times last season.
Defenders are often overlooked when it comes to individual accolades, with Italy World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro the last to win the Ballon d'Or in 2006.
A huge surprise was Lionel Messi's positions in his homeland Argentina and the country he has played his football in for 14 years, Spain.
Hegerberg played down the incident.
"I've two years left on my [Madrid] contract, and hopefully some more than that", Modric said.
France Football, which hands out the Ballon d'Or, and FIFA combined their awards to create the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010. I didn't really think about it at the time to be honest.
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Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, quickly exited the stage without shaking hands or talking with other leaders. Khashoggi is said to have used the WhatsApp thread to engage in stern criticism of Bin Salman .