In England the award is better known as the European Footballer of the Year and is received by the player considered to have impressed the most over the previous year.
However, this year the accolade has redesigned itself somewhat to become a World Player of the Year, with qualification less stringent than previous awards.
The winner is decided by the votes of 50 esteemed journalists across Europe; with qualification for selection no longer dependent on the player having played for a club based within Uefa´s jurisdiction.
Last year´s World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro scooped the 2006 award and he is again in the running for the 2007 prize.
David Beckham´s return to Real Madrid´s side at the back end of last season culminated in the capital club clinching the title from Barcelona at the campaign´s death, and his contribution is celebrated by inclusion in the top 50.
The Premier League is well represented as 15 players currently plying their trade in England are included, while Barcelona´s Thierry Henry is also in contention largely for his performances for Arsenal and France.
Manchester United´s famed attack is celebrated as Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Paul Scholes are all in, while Liverpool are represented by Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.
Cristiano Ronaldo is favourite
Arsenal too are not shy of nominees as Kolo Toure, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie get the nod.
Didier Drogba´s future at Chelsea may have been cast into doubt of late but what cannot be disputed is that the Ivorian has enjoyed a fantastic year and he is joined in the long short-list by team-mates Florent Malouda, Michael Essien and Petr Cech.
The sublimely talented Dimitar Berbatov is another nominee, proving Tottenham can break into the top four in at least one category.
FULL LIST CANDIDATES
Eric Abidal (FRA/Barcelona
Daniel Alves (BRA/Sevilla)
David Beckham (ING/Los Angeles Galaxy)
Dimitar Berbatov (BUL/Tottenham)
Gianluigi Buffon (ITA/Juventus)
Fabio Cannavaro (ITA/Real Madrid
Iker Casillas (ESP/Real Madrid)
Petr Cech (RCH/Chelsea)
Rogerio Ceni (BRA/Sao Paulo)
Cristiano Ronaldo (POR/Manchester United)
Mahamadou Diarra (MLI/Real Madrid)
Diego (BRA/Werder Bremen)
Didier Drogba (CMA/Chelsea)
Michael Essien (GHA/Chelsea)
Samuel Etoo (CAM/Barcelona)
Cesc Fábregas (ESP/Arsenal)
Gennaro Gattuso (ITA/Milan)
Steven Gerrard (ING/Liverpool)
Ryan Giggs (GAL/Manchester United)
Thierry Henry (FRA/Barcelona)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SUE/Inter)
Filippo Inzaghi (ITA/Milan)
Frédéric Kanouté (MLI/Sevilla)
Miroslav Klose (ALE/Bayern Múnich)
Younis Mahmoud (IRK/Algharafa)
Paolo Maldini (ITA/Milan)
Florent Malouda (FRA/Chelsea)
Lionel Messi (ARG/Barcelona)
Shunsuke Nakamura (JAP/Celtic Glasgow)
Guillermo Ochoa (MEX/América México)
Andrea Pirlo (ITA/Milan)
Ricardo Quaresma (POR/Oporto)
Raúl González (ESP/Real Madrid)
Franck Ribéry (FRA/Bayern Múnich)
Juan Román Riquelme (ARG/Villarreal)
Robinho (BRA/Real Madrid)
Wayne Rooney (ING/Manchester United)
Paul Scholes (ING/Manchester United)
Clarence Seedorf (HOL/Milan)
Carlos Tévez (ARG/Manchester United)
Luca Toni (ITA/Bayern Múnich)
Kolo Touré (CMA/Arsenal)
Fernando Torres (ESP/Liverpool)
Francesco Totti (ITA/Roma)
Ruud Van Nistelrooy (HOL/Real Madrid)
Robin Van Persie (HOL/Arsenal)
David Villa (ESP/Valencia)