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FIFA announce World Player nominees

Real Madrid's expensive teammates Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo are both nominated
Real Madrid's expensive teammates Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo are both nominated
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FIFA announce list of nominations for the World Player of the Year award
  • The annual ceremony takes place in Zurich, Switzerland on December 21
  • Reigning holder Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid nominated once again

Cristiano Ronaldo is in the running to win the FIFA World Player of the Year for a second successive year after being named on a 23-man shortlist for this year's award.

The Portuguese winger, who joined Real Madrid this summer from Manchester United for a world record transfer fee, heads a familiar cast of football's biggest names ahead of the annual gala in Zurich, Switzerland, on December 21.

Champions League holders Barcelona boast six nominees -- defender Carlos Puyol, midfielders Andres Iniesta and Xavi, and strikers Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Former Barca star Samuel Eto'o, now playing for Inter Milan, also joins the nominations list.

Spain's La Liga boasts 11 nominees altogether, in addition to the Barcelona contingent there is Valencia's David Villa, Sevilla's Luis Fabiano and Real Madrid's Kaka and Iker Casillas.

The English Premier League follows with eight nominees; England internationals Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are among those up for the award.

Nominees list:

Michael Ballack (Germany), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Iker Casillas (Spain),Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Diego (Brazil), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Michael Essien (Ghana), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Steven Gerrard (England), Thierry Henry (France), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Kaka (Brazil), Frank Lampard (England), Luis Fabiano (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Carles Puyol (Spain), Franck Ribery (France), Wayne Rooney (England), John Terry (England), Fernando Torres (Spain), David Villa (Spain), Xavi (Spain).