Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard are on Fifa's 30-man shortlist for World Player of the Year award.
Lampard, Gerrard and Rooney are England's nominees
That trio of players are among 12 Premiership players in contention for the prize, with Arsenal's Thierry Henry seen as a front-runner for the award.
Last year's winner was Brazilian Ronaldinho, who also won in 2004.
This year's competition is expected to come down to a contest between striker Henry and Fabio Cannavaro, captain of World Cup winners Italy.
Chelsea are the most represented club with six players on the shortlist: Lampard, Petr Cech of the Czech Republic, Ghana's Michael Essien, Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast, Germany's Michael Ballack and Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko.
Former France midfielder Zinedine Zidane, sent off in the World Cup final in Berlin, is also included on the shortlist.
Zidane retired from soccer after France lost to Italy in the final on 9 July 9, his career ending with a head-butt on defender Marco Materazzi 10 minutes before the end of extra time.
Zidane, Ronaldinho and Inter Milan's Portuguese midfielder Luis Figo are the only men on the shortlist to have previously won the Fifa gong.
Zidane has already claimed the honour three times, as a Juventus player in 1998 and 2000 and with Real Madrid in 2003. Figo won the award in 2001 during his time with Real Madrid.
The head coaches and captains of all national teams will now vote for their best players from the shortlist.
The prize will be awarded in Zurich on 18 December.
Fifa World Player of the Year shortlist:
Adriano (Inter Milan, Brazil), Michael Ballack (Chelsea, Germany), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus, Italy), Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid, Italy), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Portugal), Petr Cech (Chelsea, Czech Republic), Deco (Barcelona, Portugal), Didier Drogba (Chelsea, Ivory Coast), Michael Essien (Chelsea, Ghana), Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona, Cameroon), Luis Figo (Inter Milan, Portugal), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan, Italy), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool, England), Thierry Henry (Arsenal, France), Kaka (AC Milan, Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Werder Bremen, Germany), Philippe Lahm (Bayern Munich, Germany), Frank Lampard (Chelsea, England), Jens Lehmann (Arsenal, Germany), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan, Italy), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan, Italy), Franck Ribery (Marseille, France), Juan Roman Riquelme (Villarreal, Argentina), Ronaldinho (Barcelona, Brazil), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United, England), Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal, Czech Republic), Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea, Ukraine), Lilian Thuram (Barcelona, France), Patrick Vieira (Inter Milan, France), Zinedine Zidane (retired, France).