Modric's recognition was reward for a fine 12 months during which he helped his club to lift the Champions League for the third successive season in May before playing a key role in Croatia's surge to the World Cup final.
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.
"As a kid we have dreams". Marca use Modric's quote of: 'My dream since childhood was to be a player in a great team, the Ballon d'Or is more than a dream'. "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".
Cristiano Ronaldo's sisters blamed the mafia for their brother failing to win his sixth Ballon d'Or but one journalist thinks that it's all because he's not playing for Real Madrid anymore. Brazil star Neymar, who was third past year, was a lowly 12th despite a domestic treble with Paris Saint-Germain.
Women's fight for recognition on the biggest stage, meanwhile, took a big step with the award of Hegerberg, who plays for French side Olympic Lyonnais. Modric had never previously been in the top three.
Fans of both Ronaldo and Messi were furious that their idols didn't finish higher in the rankings and Ronaldo's sisters even went on to slam the award and the voting process.
Mbappe and Griezmann scored in the 4-2 World Cup final win against Croatia.
"Maybe in the past, there are some players who could have won the Ballon d'Or like Xavi, Andres Iniesta or Sneijder but people finally now are looking at someone else", he told BBC Football. He wanted me to open myself more. The suggestion clearly made Hegerberg uncomfortable.
"It is a fantastic day for women's football.it is important to show young girls that they can believe in themselves and I hope they are inspired by this".
"I admired him and I respected him a lot when he was a player. I do not know".
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