Ronaldo and Messi have won the award in five of the last eight seasons. Luka Modric won the award last year.
Van Dijk is up for the award after playing an integral role in Liverpool’s Champions League victory last season and their second place finish in the Premier League.
The former Celtic centre-back also reached the final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League competition with Holland this summer, where they were beaten by a Portugal side spearheaded by Ronaldo, the top scorer in the finals. The Portuguese hitman also scored 28 goals in his first season for Juventus, who claimed the Serie A title.
Messi, meanwhile, won the European Golden Shoe on his way to his 10th La Liga title with Barcelona.
The winner will be announced at the Champions League group stage draw on August 29.