The three outstanding players garnered the most votes from a distinguished panel consisting of club coaches participating in UEFA competitions, managers of European national teams, and a handpicked group of journalists.
The winner of the prize will be revealed on August 31 in Monaco at the Champions League group stage draw ceremony.
Haaland finished as the Champions League’s top scorer last season with 12 goals, while De Bruyne — who had a leading seven assists — played an integral part in City lifting the trophy for the first time.
Messi, who left Paris Saint-Germain for Inter Miami this summer, won the 2022 World Cup with Argentina, claiming the last major trophy missing from his honours.
City’s Pep Guardiola is among the coach of the year nominees after leading the club to a treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League last season.
He is joined by Italian pair Simone Inzaghi, who took Inter Milan to the Champions League final, and Luciano Spalletti, the coach who ended Napoli’s 33-year wait for the Serie A title.
(With inputs from AFP)