Modric and Ronaldo sharing a team could make it hard to evaluate their La Liga play, while Salah's World Cup struggles may be outweighed by his dominant appearance in the Premier League.
His season ended in disappointment after a challenge from Sergio Ramos forced him off early in the Champions League final, with the injury keeping him out of the opening game of Egypt's unsuccessful World Cup campaign.
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Ronaldo, who won the award last season, helped Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title and finished as the competition's top scorer with 15 goals.
The shortlist is selected by Champions League coaches and invited journalists from across Europe, and Messi's two previous wins only came after Barcelona's Champions League titles in 2011 and 2015.
Croatia star, Modric played in the 2018 World Cup having defeated by France.
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Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall were also injured during the Redskins' preseason game against the New York Jets last week. The 33-year-old, who was the 2012 NFL MVP, sits second among active rushers in yards and attempts, behind Frank Gore.
Meanwhile, Egyptian star Salah scored 10 times as Liverpool made it to the Champions League final, before losing 3-1 to Real in Kiev.
Modrić was even awarded with the Golden Ball in recognition for his performances at the World Cup, a trophy last has previously been one by the likes of Lionel Messi, Ronaldo Nazário and the late Johan Cruyff.
The victor will be announced August 30 at the 2018-19 Champions League group stage draw. Ronaldo's assist record was far worst though, with just fife in La Liga and three in the Champions League, although the Portuguese forward would often lead the attack for Madrid.
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Martial started United's game against Albion but was substituted for Marouane Fellaini in the second half. After this performance, he could face a battle to stay in his manager's plans.
Salah won last season's England's Players' Player of the Year Award and the Football Writers' Association's Footballer of the Year Award.