For his performances, Modric was awarded the UEFA Player of The Year.
Although Messi won the Spanish league title with Barca last season, the 31-year-old had an unhappy World Cup, missing a penalty against Iceland and scoring only once in four games as they were knocked out in the last 16.
Andrea Barzagli has said he has been astounded by Cristiano Ronaldo's hunger and desire and he expects the Portuguese forward to break his Serie A drought soon.
If Ronaldo wins on 24 September, it will his sixth Federation Internationale de Football Association award.
France's World Cup-winning manager Didier Deschamps, Zlatko Dalic and Zinedine Zidane were nominated as the finalists for FIFA's coach of the year award.
The award was first introduced as the FIFA World player of the year prize (1991-2009), before becoming the Ballon d'Or (2010-15) and subsequently part of FIFA's "The Best" awards.
The World Cup features heavily, with Russia's Denis Cheryshev, France's Benjamin Pavard and Ronaldo's global team-mate Ricardo Quaresma nominated for providing three of the champagne moments of Russian Federation 2018.
Messi has gone three seasons without winning the Champions League, last doing so in 2015, and admits it is his major goal this season: 'It's time [to win it again].
And Messi believes that Ronaldo's move has helped install Juventus as firm favourites for the Champions League in 2018-19.
His competitors, Ronaldo and Modric, won the Champions league together with Real Madrid.
Messi, Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Mohamed Salah are all included in a stellar field for the FIFA Puskas Award.
Tottenham held Madrid to a 1-1 draw in Spain, then swept them away in a 3-1 victory at Wembley during the Champions League group stages last season.
The Best FIFA Goalkeeper Award will be contested between a trio who shone in Russian Federation, namely Belgium's Thibaut Courtois, France's Hugo Lloris and Denmark's Kasper Schmeichel.