The two Ballon d'Or Awards will be decided by an worldwide jury of journalists, with AS editor Alfredo Relaño again casting Spain's vote this year.
Defender Fabio Cannavaro was victorious in 2006, while Ronaldinho, Andriy Shevchenko and Pavel Nedved were successful in 2005, 2004 and 2003 respectively.
Ronaldo and Messi have won the award between them for the last 10 years.
Four goalkeepers are also among the 30 - Thibaut Courtois of Belgium and Real Madrid, Liverpool and Brazil stopper Alisson Becker, Tottenham's France World Cup victor Hugo Lloris and Atletico's Jan Oblak.
Sergio Aguero has been nominated for the Ballon d'Or.
Wales worldwide Gareth Bale, scorer of a brace in Real's European final win over Liverpool, is among the 10 names already released.
Real Madrid have two players in the Ballon d'Or nominees - Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema while PSG star Edison Cavani become the final contender.
Liverpool's Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino and Uruguay's rugged defender Diego Godin of Atletico Madrid also got the nod.
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Modric's global team-mates Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic are also on the shortlist, as are Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
A panel of journalists selects the Ballon d'Or victor which was first established in 1956 and will this year feature a women's award for the first time.
France internationals Amandine Henry, Amel Majri and Wendie Renard are joined on the list by Germany's Dzsenifer Marozsan, England's Lucy Bronze, Ada Hegerberg of Norway and Japan defender Saki Kumagai.
The award, launched in 1956, recognises the outstanding contribution during a season from one player, with the shortlist voted for by journalists across Europe.
In another first, the best under-21 player will receive the Kopa Trophy.
Kylian Mbappe is third-favourite after winning the World Cup with France at the age of 19, with 6-1 odds.
The Ballon d'Or has been awarded by France Football every year since 1956, with former England global Sir Stanley Matthews the first victor.
In total 30 nominees will be announced, with the ceremony scheduled for 3 December.