Mohamed Salah is now the first African player and first Premier League player to make the top three of the award since it was first handed out in 2010-11.
For Modric, he enjoyed a fantastic season, winning the Champions League alongside Ronaldo, as well as finishing runner-up at the World Cup and claiming the Golden Ball.
Cristiano Ronaldo may have ditched life at Real Madrid this summer in favour of a move to Juventus, but it is the Portugal international's performances in Spain previous year which see him once again on the final shortlist.
The 31 year old scored 45 times in 54 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona last season, Messi's stats the most impressive of any player in Europe when it comes to goalscoring and assists.
The Egyptian scored 10 goals in the UEFA Champions League proper last season to help the Reds reach the final in his debut season with the club.
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The award typically rewards Champions League performances - with all three on the shortlist having played in the final in May - but voters can take the World Cup into account.
The victor of the prestigious award will be named - along with the UEFA Women's Player of the Year and UEFA Champions League positional award winners - during the group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday 30 August.
Similar to the aforementioned Ronaldo, the 32-year-old midfielder also made in excess of 40 appearances last season as Real Madrid went on to lift the UEFA Champions League trophy.
The vote does not always reward a Champions League victor.
The top three recipients of votes for the 2017-18 UEFA Men's Player of the Year award should surprise exactly no one.