The Barcelona captain has been included despite having been restricted to just 13 starts in La Liga last season, largely due to injury problems.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane is on the list, having finished top of the Premier League goalscoring charts for the second campaign in a row, although Spurs' season ended in disappointment, as they failed to win a trophy.
Real Madrid full-backs Dani Carvajal and Marcelo have been included after consistently strong displays in their side's league and UEFA Champions League double in 2016-17.
Holder Cristiano Ronaldo, Barca star Lionel Messi and Juventus duo Paulo Dybala and Gianluigi Buffon are also on the list.
Alexis Sanchez, N'Golo Kante, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eden Hazard are the other nominees who played for Premier League clubs last term.
The list was compiled by a panel of former football greats including Diego Maradona, Cafu, Carles Puyol, Edwin van der Sar and Jay Jay Okocha.
A final trio of nominees will now be decided by a combination of a public vote, which runs between August 21 and September 7, as well as input from national team captains, coaches, and a panel of media representatives.
SHORTLIST IN FULL:
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)
Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan, Juventus in 2016-17)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Free agent, Manchester United in 2016-17)
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Keylor Navas (Real Madrid)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona in 2016-17)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich)