What should have been a historic moment in football was ruined when Ada Hegerberg was asked to twerk on stage at the sport's night of nights in Paris today.

Norwegian Hegerberg, who plays for Olympique Lyonnais in France, won the inaugural Ballon d'Or award for the best female player in the world, beating 14 other nominees including Australia's Sam Kerr.

Normally reserved for the men throughout its 62-year history, the 2018 Ballon d'Or finally recognised football's best women and Hegerberg was rewarded for her outstanding international and club form before the man next to her put a dampener on her big moment.

Ada Hegerberg of Sweden and Olympioque Lyonnais reacts after winning the 2018 Ballon D'Or at Le Grand Palais. Photo / Getty
Ada Hegerberg of Sweden and Olympioque Lyonnais reacts after winning the 2018 Ballon D'Or at Le Grand Palais. Photo / Getty

DJ Martin Solveig, who was a guest host at the awards ceremony, asked the 23-year-old striker to twerk after she received her prize. Hegerberg promptly shut him down, saying "no" and immediately walking off stage.

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Football journalist Jason Pettigrove tweeted: "Martin Solveig, you are f***ing pathetic" while plenty of others took to social media to vent their fury about Hegerberg's treatment.

Pettigrove was far from the only one to use such colourful language to describe Solveig as people from all around the world got inventive with their vocabulary when thinking of ways to shame him.

Hegerberg, a three-time Women's Champions League winner with Lyon, was selected by a jury of 45 journalists as the cream of the crop in female football.

Hegerberg called the award "a huge step for women's football" and also told The Associated Press she feels "very proud" to be the first Ballon d'Or-winning woman.

Astonishingly, Solveig's blatant sexism came after Hegerberg had already voiced her anger about how women are treated differently to men in football.

Hegerberg expressed frustration about living "in such a man's world" and said the award will not make her reconsider her refusal to play for Norway, including at next June's Women's World Cup, because of her unhappiness over perceived inequality.

"A lot of things need to be done to make the conditions better for women who play football," she said.

"It's all about how we respect women's football. I don't think the respect has been there.

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"I wish the national team the best, though. We just follow two different paths at the moment."

After her awkward encounter with Solveig, journalist Darren Cleary tweeted a video of her brilliant work on the pitch to remind everyone why she won the Ballon d'Or in the first place.

Hegerberg scored a tournament-record 15 goals for Lyon in the Women's Champions League and netted 31 goals in 29 goals across all club competitions this season. She finished well clear of Kerr, who came fifth in the voting, but the Matildas star wasn't bothered as long as female football was put under the spotlight on the world stage.

Ada Hegerberg of Olympique Lyonnais runs with the ball. Photo / Getty
Ada Hegerberg of Olympique Lyonnais runs with the ball. Photo / Getty

"For the first time a woman will win football's highest honour. So even if I don't win, we will," Kerr posted on Instagram before the awards ceremony.

Kerr had another outstanding 2018, winning the NWSL golden boot, the PFA Women's Footballer of the Year and ESPY Award for Best International Women's Soccer Player.

Dane Pernille Harder and German Dzsenifer Marozsan rounded out the top three while Brazilian Marta was fourth.

On the men's side, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's decade-long dominance at the Ballon d'Or came to an end as they were dethroned by Luka Modric.

Modric won the Ballon d'Or for the first time, becoming the first player not named Messi or Ronaldo to claim the top honour since Brazilian Kaka won the prize in 2007.

Modric won the Champions League with Real Madrid and then guided Croatia to the World Cup final in July. The creative central midfielder was voted player of the tournament in Russia.

"As a kid we all have dreams. My dream was to play for a big club and win important trophies," Modric said. "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."

Ronaldo was second in the Ballon d'Or followed by France forward Antoine Griezmann.

France's teen star Kylian Mbappe was fourth in the polling.

Brazil star Neymar, who was third last year, was a lowly 12th despite a domestic treble with Paris Saint-Germain.

Modric, who has won the Champions League four times with Madrid, was fifth in Ballon d'Or polling last year.

"2018 is a dream year for me," the 33-year-old Modric said. "Throughout my career I realised hard work, persistence and belief in yourself in difficult moments are the foundations of success."

Modric's father was shown on the big screen during the ceremony at the imperious Grand Palais in Paris, wiping away tears.

Ronaldo missed out on a record sixth award, which would have moved him one ahead of Messi.

Mbappe and Griezmann scored in the 4-2 World Cup final win against Croatia. Mbappe won the domestic treble with PSG, while Griezmann scored twice for Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final win against Marseille. France coach Didier Deschamps said a French player should have won the award.

"They deserve it because of what they did with the national team at the World Cup and also because of the trophies they won with their clubs," Deschamps said.

Messi was fifth in the voting, having been runner-up to Ronaldo the past two years and in the top three every year since 2007. Modric had never previously been in the top three.