The two films will go head-to-head in the best film and director categories along with Guillermo Del Toro's fantasy tale Pan's Labyrinth, which earned 13 nominations, and Manuel Huerga's Salvador. The homage to Catalan anarchist Salvador Puig Antich earned 11 noms.
Volver, Spain's entry for the foreign-language Oscar, and Pan's Labyrinth, Mexico's offering, are considered serious contenders for the Oscar short list.
Almodovar and Del Toro also will compete for best original script, along with Daniel Sanchez Arvalo for DarkBlueAlmostBlack and Jorge Sanchez Cabezudo for The Night of the Sunflowers.
Antonio Banderas received a nomination for his adapted screenplay of Summer Rain and will compete with The Education of Fairies writer-director Jose Luis Cuerda, Salvador writer Lluis Arcarazo and Alatriste's Diaz Yanes.
Penelope Cruz, who reaped accolades in Cannes for her performance in Volver, will compete against Pan's Maribel Verdu, DarkBlueAlmostBlack's Marta Etura and La Dama Boba's Silvia Abascal for the best actress nod.