Messi absent as UEFA announce finalists for Player of the Year award

Ronaldo, Modric and Salah, nominated for UEFA Player of the Year

Mohamed Salah is now the first African player and first Premier League player to make the top three of the award since it was first handed out in 2010-11.

UEFA have announced that Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modrić and Mohamed Salah received the most votes during the initial round of voting for the Player of the Year award this year, and all three will be in contention to win the coveted title.

For Modric, he enjoyed a fantastic season, winning the Champions League alongside Ronaldo, as well as finishing runner-up at the World Cup and claiming the Golden Ball.

Modric was key in the conquest of the third Real Madrid Champions League and a cornerstone in Croatia, which reached the 2018 world final, leading to his nomination for the award.

Ronaldo, Modric and Salah, nominated for UEFA Player of the Year
Nominees revealed for 2017/18 UEFA Player of the Year Awards

Similar to the aforementioned Ronaldo, the 32-year-old midfielder also made in excess of 40 appearances last season as Real Madrid went on to lift the UEFA Champions League trophy.

Modric was once again instrumental in steering Madrid to the Champions League crown for the fourth time in the past five years, and built on that display by winning the Golden Ball award at this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation.

With Mohammed Salah and Luka Modric making up the three-man short-list, the pair also played in the UEFA Champions League, although Modric was also named the Golden Ball victor in this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation. And Salah stood out for Liverpool at the Champions Cup. Modric won the Golden Ball as the World Cup's best player in Russian Federation.

Salah scored an fantastic 44 goals in his debut season at Liverpool, leading the side to the final of the Champions League. 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.

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