The total points received by each individual player based on the votes of each and every member of the jury are then added and the player with the most points is declared the victor.
Juventus forward and five-time victor Cristiano Ronaldo finished in second place followed by Atletico Madrid and World Cup star Antoine Griezmann in third.
The annual football award, presented by France Football, has been dominated by Messi and Ronaldo for the past decade, with each clinching the accolade five times apiece since 2008.
The World Cup star was tipped to break the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly over the award for months, particularly after he won the UEFA Best Player of the Year award and The Best FIFA Men's Player award earlier this year.
WA soccer superstar Sam Kerr has been named the world's fifth-best female player in the inaugural Women's Ballon d'Or.
The top ten included: Harry Kane (ENG/ Tottenham Hotspur), Kevin De Bruyne (BEL/ Manchester City), Eden Hazard (BEL/ Chelsea), Raphael Varane (FRA/Real Madrid), Mohamed Salah (EGY/Liverpool), Lionel Messi (ARG/Barcelona), Kylian Mbappe (FRA/Paris Saint-Germain), Antoine Griezmann (FRA/Atletico Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (POR/Real Madrid), Luka Modric (CRO/Real Madrid). Griezmann also scored twice for Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final win against Marseille. I want to thank my teammates and coaches at Real Madrid and those with the national team.
When asked if he will ever claim the Ballon d'Or, Griezmann responded: "I think if I keep working the way I am, why not?"
Hegerberg has said she will not play for Norway at the Women's World Cup in France next June.
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".