Juventus new man Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Salah are the three finalists. They top a shortlist of 10, which did include Messi, along with De Bruyne, Varane, Griezmann, Hazard, Kane and Mbappe.
Ronaldo and Modric both helped Real Madrid to Champions League glory prior to the former’s move to Juventus, with Salah scoring an incredible 44 goals in all competitions for Liverpool.
Modric won UEFA’s award for best player of the year last season, which drew condemnation from Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, for snubbing the top goalscorer in the Champions League.
The 5 time winners absence from the top three of The Best comes as surprise after his excellent season, which saw Barcelona win La Liga and the Copa del Rey as he won the Pichichi and the European Golden Shoe.
The winner will be named on September 24 at a gala in London. The prizes are voted for by players, coaches, journalists and fans through the Internet.