Wayne Rooney's decline is reflected in the Manchester United and England captain's failure to make the final list for the first time in the competition's 12-year history.
That leaves Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as the only ever-presents for an award based on votes from professional players from 75 countries.
More than 25,000 have voted this year, with 1,800 selections coming from English-based players, the largest group by nation.
Joining Sheffield-born Vardy, once of Stocksbridge Park Steels among the finalists is his former Leicester team-mate N'Golo Kante, now starring for Chelsea, but there is no place for the Premier League champions' other stand-out performer, Riyad Mahrez.
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In total, there are 16 Premier League players on the list, including first-timers Arsenal's Hector Bellerin, Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City and West Ham maestro Dimitri Payet.
Barcelona lead the way with 12 players, two more than rivals Real Madrid, whose selected players include Welsh winger Gareth Bale.
Other big names to drop out of the reckoning with Rooney this year are Manchester City pair Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure and Chelsea's John Terry.
The World XI will be announced in January, with the remaining 44 players sorted into second, third, fourth and fifth teams on a 4-3-3 basis. FIFPro represents 65,000 players worldwide.
The 55-player short list:
Goalkeepers (5): Claudio Bravo (Chile/Barcelona/Manchester City), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy/Juventus), David de Gea (Spain/Manchester United), Keylor Navas (Costa Rica/Real Madrid) and Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich).
Defenders (20): David Alaba (Austria/Bayern Munich), Jordi Alba (Spain/Barcelona), Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast/Paris St Germain), Hector Bellerin (Spain/Arsenal), Jerome Boateng (Germany/Bayern Munich), Leonardo Bonucci (Italy/Juventus), Dani Carvajal (Spain/Real Madrid), Giorgio Chiellini (Italy/Juventus), Dani Alves (Brazil/Barcelona/Juventus), David Luiz (Brazil/Paris St Germain/Chelsea), Diego Godin (Uruguay/Atletico Madrid), Mats Hummels (Germany/Borussia Dortmund/Bayern Munich), Philipp Lahm (Germany/Bayern Munich), Marcelo (Brazil/Real Madrid), Javier Mascherano (Argentina/Barcelona), Pepe (Portugal/Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Spain/Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Brazil/Paris St Germain) and Raphael Varane (France/Real Madrid).
Midfielders (15): Xabi Alonso (Spain/Bayern Munich), Sergio Busquets (Spain/Barcelona), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea), Andres Iniesta (Spain/Barcelona), N'Golo Kante (France/Leicester/Chelsea) Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid), Mesut Ozil (Germany/Arsenal), Dimitri Payet (France/West Ham), Paul Pogba (France/Juventus/Manchester United), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/Barcelona), David Silva (Spain/Manchester City), Marco Verratti (Italy/Paris St Germain) and Arturo Vidal (Chile/Bayern Munich).
Strikers (15): Sergio Aguero (Argentina/Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Paulo Dybala (Argentina/Juventus), Antoine Griezmann (France/Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina/Napoli/Juventus), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/Paris St Germain/Manchester United), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich), Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Thomas Muller (Germany/Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil/Barcelona), Alexis Sanchez (Chile/Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/Barcelona) and Jamie Vardy (England/Leicester).