The Portuguese and the Argentine superstars are out in front in the running as the candidates for this year's ultimate attack are named
The likes of Sergio Aguero, Edison Cavani, Radamel Falcao and Robin Van Persie have all been named amongst the 15 candidates for a place in this year's ultimate side.
Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli, Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, Brazil international Neymar and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney have also been nominated, along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and ex-Chelsea forward Didier Drogba. Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez is also in with a chance despite missing part of the year with an injury, with Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Anzhi Makhachkala player Samuel Eto'o completing the list.
The 50,000 players who are part of the professional footballers' union Fifpro were each invited to vote in a secret ballot to nominate their peers for the World XI, choosing the best goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards from 2012.
The final World XI selection will be announced at the Ballon d'Or award ceremony on January 7, 2013.
Shortlist in full:
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Manchester City), Mario Balotelli (Italy, Manchester City), Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid) Edison Cavani Uruguay, Napoli), Dider Drogba (Cote d'Ivoire, Shanghai Shenhua) , Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon, Anzhi Makhachkala), Radamel Falcao (Colombia, Atletico Madrid), Mario Gomez (Germany, Bayern Munich), Zlatan Ibrahimvic (Sweden, Paris Saint-Germain), Neymar (Brazil, Santos), Robin Van Persie (Netherlands, Manchester United), Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United), Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Liverpool)