Nani also on the list
Sir Alex Ferguson nominated for the coach of the year category
1 November 2011
Wayne Rooney is the only British player to make the Ballon d'Or World Footballer of the Year shortlist.
Barcelona have eight players on the list, including Lionel Messi, who has won the award for the past two seasons.
Nani (Man Utd), Luis Suarez (Liverpool) and Sergio Aguero (Man City) are the other England-based players named.
Arsenal's Arsene Wenger joins Sir Alex Ferguson and Chelsea's Andre Villas-Boas on the managerial list. A decision will be made on 9 January.
Rooney helped Manchester United lift a record 19th league title in 2011 - and reach the final of the European Cup.
European champions Barcelona dominate Fifa's list, with Cesc Fabregas, who spent part of 2011 with Arsenal, named alongside Messi.
Real Madrid have five nominees, including former Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo and ex-Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso.
The shortlist will be narrowed down to three names for each category on 5 December.
Player nominees: Eric Abidal (France), Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Karim Benzema (France), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Dani Alves (Brazil), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Nani (Portugal), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Gerard Pique (Spain), Wayne Rooney (England), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), David Villa (Spain), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Xavi (Spain).
Coach nominees: Vicente Del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United), Rudi Garcia (France/Lille), Pep Guardiola (Spain/Barcelona), Jurgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Loew (Germany/Germany national team), Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid), Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay/Uruguay national team), Andre Villas-Boas (Portugal/Porto, Chelsea), Arsene Wenger (France/Arsenal).
The "Ballon d'Or", literally translated as "the golden ball" and often referred to as the European Footballer of the Year award, was an annual association football award.
Since 1956 the bi-weekly (formerly weekly) French magazine France Football awards the "Ballon d'Or" for the best European Footballer of the calendar year. Only players from European clubs are eligible. Until 1994 any player from an European National Team was eligible; since 1995 any player from a European club (regardless of his nationality) is eligible but he must also be part of a preliminary list of 50 players established by France Football.
Voters are journalists - one from each member country of UEFA. Each voter chooses 5 players and points are awarded as follows: 5 points for a first place in a voters' list, 4 points for second, 3 points for third, 2 points for fourth, and 1 point for fifth.
In 2010, a new chapter in football was opened with the news that France Football’s Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award merged, meaning that the world’s best player would be awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or each year.