An impressive 2010 World Cup performance has seen Ghana's Asamoah Gyan named in the shortlist for the Fifa Ballon d'Or, FIFA announced today.
The Ghana and Sunderland striker is among the 23 players nominated by the world governing body for the biggest personal award in world football.
Gyan's performances during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where he aided the Black Stars campaign to the quarter finals contributed to his nomination.
Lionel Messi is the reigning Ballon d'Or winner and Fifa World Player of the Year, but the awards have now been merged, so the best player in the world will be recognised by a single accolade - the Fifa Ballon d'Or.
Spain dominated the contenders as seven of their finals squad were included among the nominees for the prestigious award.
Though players from Europe dominate the list, Gyan together Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto'o from Cameroon give the continent - Africa - a presence.
The winners will be revealed in Zurich on 10th January, 2011.
World Player of the Year nominees:
Xabi Alonso (Spain), Daniel Alves (Brazil), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Julio Cesar (Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Maicon (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Carles Puyol (Spain), Arjen Robben (Holland), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Holland), David Villa (Spain) and Xavi (Spain).