Almost two dozen top players fight it out for one award...The nominees for the 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year Award have been announced, with an array of players that, while being largely predictable, contains one or two surprises.
Every player on the 23-man shortlist for the men's award is based in Europe, with no representatives of the South American or Asian leagues taking part.
A plethora of Premier League stars have been nominated for the 2009 FIFA award, which also includes six players from Barcelona's all-conquering side, and also six from the Spanish national camp.
However, just one Italian, Gianluigi Buffon of Italy and Juventus, has made the cut.
The winner of the coveted annual award will be announced at the 19th Fifa World Player Gala, at the Zurich Kongresshaus, on Monday December 21.
Along with France Football's "Ballon d'Or" award, this is one of two major individual accolades in the global game.
Full details of the nominees have been disclosed below, in alphabetical order. Players who moved club during the year have their current team shown first.
||Real Madrid/AC Milan
||Real Madrid/Man Utd
NOMINEES FOR 2009 FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
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
Alan Dawson & Ewan Macdonald, Goal.com