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 a year ago which see him once again on the final shortlist.
Modric, also part of Madrid's Champions League winning team, finished runner-up with Croatia at the World Cup, winning the best player award at the tournament in Russian Federation. Messi and Barca also won the Copa De Rey, so Messi would be well within his rights to be a bit miffed for his shortlist omission.
Atletico Madrid's France star Antoine Griezmann, who scored twice as his club beat Marseille 3-0 in the Europa League final, just missed out in fourth.
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.
"Players are judged on their performances in all competitions - domestic, continental and worldwide", UEFA said in a statement.
Ronaldo, now with Juventus, has won the UEFA award each time Madrid has been European champion since the vote was introduced in 2011.
His former team-mate in Madrid, Modric, was a World Cup runner-up with Croatia and the victor of the FIFA Golden Ball.
Meanwhile, UEFA will name the victor of this award on Thursday, August 30. 34 of his goals came in 36 appearances in La Liga whilst he netted six times in ten Champions League matches, whilst contributing 18 assists from those 45 matches.
Salah won last season's England's Players' Player of the Year Award and the Football Writers' Association's Footballer of the Year Award.
UEFA will also announce the women's player of the year from a shortlist of Pernille Harder (Denmark and Wolfsburg), Ada Hegerberg (Norway and Lyon), and Amandine Henry (France and Lyon).