A 32-man long-list has been drawn up by selected journalists across each UEFA member country and Italy’s three Euro 2012 stars were included.
Buffon and Pirlo were two of Serie A’s three representatives after their fine form for Juventus over the last 12 months. Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic is also in there.
The winner of the prize – designed to revive the spirit of the former European Footballer of the Year gong – will be named in Monaco on August 30.
Lionel Messi of Barcelona was the inaugural winner in 2011.
UEFA Best Player in Europe nominees:
Aguero (Manchester City), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Balotelli (Manchester City), Blaszczykowski (Borussia Dortmund), Buffon (Juventus), Casillas (Real Madrid), Cech (Chelsea), Coentrao (Real Madrid), Davies (Bangor City), Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua), Fabregas (Barcelona), Falcao (Atletico Madrid), Hart (Manchester City), Ibrahimovic (Milan), Iniesta (Barcelona), Kagawa (Manchester Utd), Kompany (Manchester City), Lampard (Chelsea), Messi (Barcelona), Modric (Tottenham), Ozil (Real Madrid), Pepe (Real Madrid), Pirlo (Juventus), Ramos (Real Madrid), Raul (Al-Sadd Sports Club), Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Rooney (Manchester Utd), Silva (Manchester City), Torres (Chelsea), Y Toure (Manchester City), Van Persie (Arsenal), Xavi (Barcelona).