Lionel Messi is in the running to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award after being named in the 23-man shortlist.
However, the Barcelona star faces tough competition from Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who won the award last year, with the winner being announced on December 21.
The Fifa Football Committee has selected the shortlist, which includes six Spaniards, four Englishmen and three Brazilians, with a number of players from other countries making up the 23.
Chelsea pair John Terry and Frank Lampard are included amongst the nominees, and are joined by Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard and Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney.
Voting for the award will be carried out by the captain and head coach of each national team, and the shortlist will be whittled down to five players at the start of December, before the final ceremony in Zurich.
Fifa World Player 2009 shortlist:
Michael Ballack (Germany), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Iker Casillas (Spain),
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Diego (Brazil), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast),
Michael Essien (Ghana), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Steven Gerrard (England), Thierry Henry (France), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Kaka (Brazil), Frank Lampard (England), Luis Fabiano (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Carles Puyol (Spain), Franck Ribery (France), Wayne Rooney (England), John Terry (England), Fernando Torres (Spain), David Villa (Spain), Xavi (Spain).
Fifa Women's World Player 2009 shortlist:
Nadine Angerer (Germany), Sonia Bompastor (France), Cristiane (Brazil), Inka Grings (Germany), Mana Iwabuchi (Japan), Simone Laudehr (Germany), Marta (Brazil), Birgit Prinz (Germany), Kelly Smith (England), Abby Wambach (USA).