The former Hibernian and Arsenal player, who now plays for Seattle Reign in the United States, has been nominated alongside Marta of Brazil, one of the world’s best-known players in women’s football.
The other three players on the shortlist are Verónica Boquete (Spain and FFC Frankfurt), Nadine Kessler (Germany and VFL Wolfsburg), and Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Liverpool).
The shortlist was announced during Canada Calling on the BBC World Service’s programme Sportsworld. The programme features women’s football news from across the globe ahead of the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Last night Little, originally from Aberdeen, said: “Considering the competitiveness and the amount of great players there are worldwide, it’s extremely nice to be recognised.
“I get to say football’s my job when it doesn’t really feel like I’m doing a job. I get to come and train every morning and travel the world. It’s probably the best job I could possibly dream of.”
Fans can vote online on the BBC website, and the ballot will close on Monday, 11 May. The winner of the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2015 will be revealed on the BBC World Service on 26 May. The shortlist was selected by a panel of experts including administrators, journalists, coaches and former players.
Mary Hockaday, controller of BBC World Service English, said: “With anticipation building ahead of the Women’s World Cup we’re thrilled to announce the shortlist for the first BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award.
“The five shortlisted players represent an incredible array of talent and show the growing strength of the women’s game. The vote is now open to fans to choose their favourite player.”