Argentina and Barcelona forward was missing in the list released by Federation Internationale de Football Association on Monday just like he failed to get a mention during the UEFA award. But who will it be?
Ronaldo, Modric, Salah unveiled in Federation Internationale de Football Association shortlist for World Player of the Year trophy.
Midfielder Modric, also part of Madrid's Champions League triumph, finished as a runner-up with Croatia at the World Cup, winning the best player award at the tournament in Russian Federation.
The winners will be announced on 24 September at Royal Festival Hall in London.
Ronaldo made the surprise switch to Turin after nine successful years at Real Madrid for a reported £88.3m in July.
Even so, Barcelona won the domestic double last season, despite losing out to Roma in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
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There was some consolation as Messi was name as one of the nominees for the Puskas award with his stunning strike for Argentina against Nigeria during this summer's World Cup.
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.
Wales forward Gareth Bale's acrobatic effort for Real in the Champions League final is another on the list.
Real midfielder Luka Modric was named the World Cup 2018's player of the tournament as Croatia reached the final against France.
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.
Holland's Sarina Wigman, Lyon's Reynald Pedros and Asako Takakura of Japan are in contention for the women's coach prize.