Euro 2008 champions Spain provided six of the contenders on Wednesday when FIFA announced a list of 23 nominations for their World Player of the Year award.
Goalkeeper Iker Casillas, midfielders Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta and Xavi and strikers David Villa and Fernando Torres all made the list published by world soccer's governing body.
Last year's winner, Brazilian playmaker Kaka, is again in the running along with Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo, whose goals played a major role in Manchester United's Premier League and Champions League double.
The list, drawn up by FIFA's football committee, will now be voted on by national team coaches and captains, with the top three announced in December.
The winner will be announced at FIFA's World Player Gala in Zurich on January 12.