Lionel Messi, who has won the award five times since 2008, failed to make the three-man shortlist for the first time in 12 years.
Salah, who netted 44 goals in all competitions for Liverpool last season, helped the club achieve second place in the Premier League and also helped Jurgen Klopp’s side reach the Champions League final.
Modric helped Real Madrid to a third straight Champions League title and then led Croatia to the World Cup final.
In his six seasons at Real, Modric has scored 13 goals and made 28 assists.
Broken down over the seasons, he made five assists in his debut 2012/13 season, six in 2013/14, three in 2014/15, three in 2015/16, three in 2016/17 and eight last season.
According to Marca, his work with Toni Kroos in Real’s “engine room” gave the team the “fluidity to achieve superiority in the midfield and generate chances”.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo, Modric’s former teammate, is looking to make it a hat-trick of awards after helping Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title.
He also captained Portugal to the last 16 at the World Cup in Russia before securing a move to Italian champions Juventus this summer.
The award is decided through a combination of votes from national team coaches, captains, members of the media and fans, and will be presented at the Best FIFA Football Awards on September 24 in London.