Croatia exited from Euro 2020 in a 5-3 extra time defeat by Spain after a riveting fightback in their last 16 clash.
Second-half goals from Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic helped Croatia book their spot in the knockout phase.
Real moved into second place on 78 points, two behind leaders Atletico Madrid with two games left to play. Barcelona are third, two points adrift of Real.
Madrid failed to score in two Clasicos against Barcelona last week, being eliminated from the Copa del Rey and falling 12 points behind the Catalan league leaders.
He broke Cristiano Ronaldo's and Lionel Messi's decade-long hold on the prestigious award.
When the rumours about Cristiano appeared, Real Madrid players had bets among ourselves, said Modric.
Ronaldo's nomination comes after the 33-year-old last week denied rape allegations levelled against him by a woman who sued him in court in the United States.
Modric won the Champions League with Real and then played a major role in Croatia's run to the World Cup final where they were beaten by France.
Lionel Messi was left off the shortlist for FIFA's Player of the Year award for the first time in 12 years.
Modric's run up to the final stage of the highest platform of international football
was not easy at all.