The Liverpool centre back made the list following his contributions for the Reds en route winning the UEFA Champions League.
The winner will be announced on August 29 during the Champions League draw in Monaco.
Messi, the top scorer in the Champions League, won the European Golden Shoe as he picked up his tenth La Liga title at Camp Nou.
Ronaldo also claimed domestic glory, helping Juventus lift the Serie A title during his maiden season in Italy.
The nominees were selected by a jury consisting of 80 coaches who competed in last season’s Champions League and Europa League, as well as 55 journalists.
Jury members chose their top trio, with the first player receiving five points, the second three and the third one.
Alisson Becker, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah claimed fourth, fifth and sixth places.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was seventh, Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong claimed eighth and ninth position after a stunning season as Ajax reached the semi-finals, while Raheem Sterling snuck into the top ten.
England’s Lucy Bronze has been nominated for the Women’s Player of the Year award alongside Lyon team-mates Ada Hegerberg and Amandine Henry.