"My dream as a kid was to play for a big club and win trophies and this is a dream", Modrić said after collecting the award. France's Kylian Mbappe is heavily favored to win the latter honor, while Americans Lindsey Horan and Megan Rapinoe are up for the women's award.
The award is aptly named after former French and Real Madrid great Raymond Kopa, and the victor of the award is also selected by former Ballon d'Or winners. Brazil star Neymar was third previous year but only 12th this time.
Rather, the Barcelona star finished in 5th position.
Named the Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year in 2016, Hegerberg added another feather in her hat on Monday as she raised her Ballon d'Or in the air, grinning with pride. "Throughout my career I realized hard work, persistence and belief in yourself in difficult moments are the foundations of success".
"I'm happy that I am the victor, but this award is also for all these players that probably deserved to win and didn't".
But, it will not be an easy ride for those looking to make most of this breakthrough move from Modric as both the Portuguese and the Argentine will be doubly motivated to reclaim what they may think is rightfully theirs.
However, for all of Mbappe's scintillating play in Russian Federation, it is Real Madrid star Modric who has broken more than a decade of Messi-Ronaldo dominance.
Modric, who attracted interest from Inter at the beginning of the season, was quoted by Goal as saying: "I have two years left and hopefully one more".
"Best player in the world....for those who understand football of course". "In my second year in Tottenham, I played as a midfielder and I felt better in the middle". "It's a pleasure to watch him out on the pitch and the way he controls the ball, passes it and shoots".
Kylian Mbappe missed out on a place in the top three too, finishing fourth in the voting, although he did walk away with the inaugural Kopa Trophy.
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.
The 19-year-old fended off stiff competition from Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic, Roma's Justin Kluivert and AC Milan duo Gianluigi Donnarumma and Patrick Cutrone among other young stars.
"I won a Europa League, a World Cup, what else do I have to do?" And with Messi in the twilight of his worldwide career, there will be more opportunities in the black and white of Argentina and a Copa America or a World Cup will definitely lend a helping hand in the candidature.
On his way out the Atletico Madrid attacker was asked what he had to do to win it.
Ronaldo had already seen his FIFA Best Award passed to the Croatia global earlier this season, with the Ballon d'Or having now headed the same way. He had a great year. "I am very happy". I'd like to have the Ballon d'Or, of course.
Luka Modric was destined for the Ballon d'Or trophy, according to his former manager Zinedine Zidane, who told the Croatian midfielder that he could win it when the pair spoke in January 2016.
Hegerberg is a three-time Women's Champions League victor with Olympic Lyonnais and scored a tournament-record 15 times last season.