Ronaldo, who won the award past year, is used to facing stiff competition from the diminutive striker but still has a battle on his hands to retain "The Best" trophy.
Ronaldo, who like Messi is a five-time victor of the award and has won it for the last two years, helped Real Madrid claim a third consecutive Champions League crown before securing a transfer to Italian champions Juventus in July.
France may not have any runners for the best player award but two Frenchmen lead the finalists for the best coach as World Cup-winning manager Didier Deschamps and former Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane are joined by Croatia's Zlatko Dalic.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo left Spanish team Real Madrid for Juventus during the summer transfer window.
"In a year that was filled with drama, action and excitement across both the men's and women's game, The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018 look set to build on the success of 2017's event and return to London bigger and better than ever".
Asian Games: Son claims Golden service exemption
Hugely popular at Spurs, Son joked before the final that he was upset team-mates Harry Kane and Dele Alli hadn't texted. After his ordeal was finally over, the World Cup star complained his chunky winner's medal was "heavy".
Funeral service for Aretha Franklin in Detroit on August 31
Wright Museum of African American History and loaded it in to a 1940 Cadillac LaSalle hearse. Workers carefully moved Franklin's polished bronze casket from the rotunda of the Charles H.
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The Gunners who made it to the semi-final past year , will see the tournament as another opportunity to return to Champions League football.
Salah did not enjoy such a productive time in Russian Federation, as Egypt bowed out at the group stage, but swept the board in terms of individual awards in England after a magnificent debut season for Champions League finalists Liverpool.
It brought Ronaldo's nine-year Madrid stay to an end, having won four Champions League titles with them and as many Ballons d'Or.
On Ronaldo's departure, Lopetegui added: "I did not speak to him, it was a situation where he had already made a decision to leave and the club went along with this for a player who had been tremendous".
Messi has been overlooked for the Best FIFA Men's Player accolade, with Ronaldo, Salah and Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric in the running.
Holland's Sarina Wigman, Lyon's Reynald Pedros and Asako Takakura of Japan are in contention for the women's coach prize. It last played in the top league in 2013-14.
"It's a great feedback from the last season; it's great to see that feedback on everything I put in", Marta said.