Champions Manchester United have one of the frontrunners in Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez. Chelsea's Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Frank Lampard and John Terry are all in the running.
However the hot favourite to take the prize is Milan playmaker Kaka, who inspired the Serie A outfit to Champions League glory in May.
The list is drawn up by members of FIFA's technical committees and voted on by the coaches and captains of every national team.
The winner will be announced at FIFA's World Player Gala in Zurich on December 17.
FIFA World Player of the Year nominees:
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus, Italy)
Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid, Italy)
Petr Cech (Chelsea, Czech Republic)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Portugal)
Deco (Barcelona, Portugal)
Didier Drogba (Chelsea, Ivory Coast)
Michael Essien (Chelsea, Ghana)
Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona, Cameroon)
Gennaro Gattuso (Milan, Italy)
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool, England)
Thierry Henry (Barcelona, France)
Juninho (Lyon, Brazil)
Kaka (Milan, Brazil)
Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich, Germany)
Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich, Germany)
Frank Lampard (Chelsea, England)
Rafael Marquez (Barcelona, Mexico)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina)
Alessandro Nesta (Milan, Italy)
Andrea Pirlo (Milan, Italy)
Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich, France)
Juan Roman Riquelme (Villarreal, Argentina)
Ronaldinho (Barcelona, Brazil)
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United, England)
John Terry (Chelsea, England)
Carlos Tevez (Manchester United, Argentina)
Lilian Thuram (Barcelona, France)
Fernando Torres (Liverpool, Spain)
Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid, Netherlands)
Patrick Vieira (Internazionale, France).