By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The Euro 2012 champions have the likes of Xabi Alonso, David Silva, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas and the ever-present Barcelona pair of Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez on the list. They're widely tipped to secure the midfield berths in the 2012 World XI ahead of the likes of Champions League-winning Frank Lampard and Juventus star Andrea Pirlo.
Seven of the players feature in the La Liga with Luka Modric and Mesut Ozil also having been selected for the shortlist.
Lampard's team-mate Eden Hazard is the only debutant and has been recognised following a superb season with Lille wherein he scored 20 goals and contributed 22 assists in the Ligue 1. The 21-year-old has since made the move to Chelsea and has continued to impress in the Premier League as well.
Pirlo and Lampard have been the most consistent names as they have appeared on the FIFA/FIFPro World XI for the past seven seasons.
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard has also been selected but with only a League Cup victory to show for his efforts this year, it is not expected that the England captain will be considered in the final reckoning.
In the previous year, Alonso, Xavi and Iniesta were chosen while a three-man attack comprising of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney also got the nod.
On the other hand, the Premier League dominates the shortlist for the Defenders category this year with eight players - John Terry, Ashley Cole, David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Vincent Kompany and Gareth Bale - based in England included in the list.
The final XI will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d'Or gala ceremony at the Zurich Kongresshaus on January 7, 2013.
The 15-man Midfielders shortlist for the FIFA/FIFPro World XI 2012:
Xabi Alonso (Spain, Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Spain, Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Barcelona), Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Frank Lampard (England, Chelsea), Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid), Mesut Ozil (Germany, Real Madrid), Andrea Pirlo (Italy, Juventus), Franck Ribery (France, Bayern Munich), David Silva (Spain, Manchester City), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany, Bayern Munich), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast, Manchester City), Xavi Hernandez (Spain, Barcelona)
The 20-man Defenders shortlist for the FIFA/FIFPro World XI 2012:
Jordi Alba (Spain, Barcelona), Gareth Bale (Wales, Tottenham), Giorgio Chiellini (Italy, Juventus), Ashley Cole (England, Chelsea), Dani Alves (Brazil, Barcelona), David Luiz (Brazil, Chelsea), Patrice Evra (France, Manchester United), Rio Ferdinand (England, Manchester United), Mats Hummels (Germany, Borussia Dortmund), Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia, Chelsea), Vincent Kompany (Belgium, Manchester City), Philipp Lahm (Germany, Bayern Munich), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid), Javier Mascherano (Argentina, Barcelona), Pepe (Portugal, Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Spain, Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Spain, Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), John Terry (England, Chelsea), Thiago Silva (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain).