"Everyone has their own reasons", said Modric.
Modric took the honour following another success-laden season with Real Madrid, in which he helped the club to another Champions League victory for a third consecutive season. "Obviously I would have liked them to be here but they aren't".
Messi, on the other hand, did give props to Ronaldo by selecting him third but went for the victorious Luka Modric in first place and World Cup victor Kylian Mbappe in second.
"It was an unbelievable season, the best season in my life", said Modric.
"I´m still not realising how good a year I had collectively, individually, and I´m very proud for everything I achieved this year and it will be remembered forever".
However, Portugal´s last 16 exit to Uruguay in Russian Federation and Ronaldo´s failure to score in the semi-finals or final of the Champions League opened the door for Modric.
This year's victor was a physical goal by Salah against Liverpool's crosstown rivals Everton.
The Fifpro World XI were David de Gea, Dani Alves, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Luka Modric, N'Golo Kante, Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappe, and Messi and Ronaldo.
"It's an event of every player and it's important to be here".
Meanwhile, Salah won the Puskas Award for the best goal, France boss Didier Deschamps claimed the prize for best manager after leading les blues to their 2nd world cup title and Belgium's Thibaut Courtois was named the best goalkeeper.
The Croatian central midfielder recieved The Best award on Monday, taking the position from former Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, who decided not to come to the gala after finding out he would not win.
Check out the best tweets and make up your own mind. The coach award in the women's game went to Reynald Pedros, the Frenchman who led Lyon to French league and Champions League glory.