"For us, it was the best trophy you can win as a footballer".
The Ballon d'Or is separate from FIFA's own world player of the year awards, which was won by Real Madrid's Croatian midfielder Luka Modric.
The 25-year-old played a big role in France's World Cup-winning campaign in Russian Federation, scoring in Les Bleus' 4-2 win over Croatia in the final.
Kevin De Bruyne was nominated for helping Manchester City win the Premier League and Belgium reach the World Cup semi-finals while Salah enjoyed a breathtaking first season with Liverpool, bagging 32 goals in the Premier League.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Paris on Monday December 3, with television coverage from 20:45 CET.
Brazil's Marta, crowned best women's player for a record sixth time at last month's Federation Internationale de Football Association awards, is also in contention after her role in winning the Copa America.
The 33-year-old forward, who ended his nine-season stay at Real Madrid by moving to Juventus for £99million in the summer, is a five-time victor of the award.