The Manchester United winger will vie with AC Milan's brilliant Brazilian Kaka, who is the favourite, and Barcelona magician Messi for the accolade which will be handed out at FIFA's world player gala in Zurich on December 17.

Each national team manager and player is given a vote.

None of the trio have won the award or even been shortlisted before and it has never been won by a Premier League player.

In the women's award, Brazilian duo Cristiane and current holder Marta have both been shortlisted along with Germany's three-time winner Birgit Prinz.