With Cristiano Ronaldo securing his fifth Ballon d'Or ahead of Lionel Messi on Thursday, the long-time rivals continued their dominance of the award.
Only once in the last 10 years - when Messi finished ahead of Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta - have the world's leading duet failed to finish in the top two spots in the voting.
Eventually, though, their dominance will have to come to an end. It may not be for a good few years yet, but there will come a time when someone not named Messi or Ronaldo will be posing with the prestigious trophy.
So who could step up to fill the sizeable void? Here are five leading candidates (listed in alphabetical order) to claim the honour at some stage in the future.
And yes, we're aware this high-class shortlist doesn't include Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba or Gabriel Jesus. There's no place for David de Gea either, showing the level of competition there is to replace the current top two.
Kevin de Bruyne
It may seem unfair, but De Bruyne's bid for glory is hampered by his lack of goals. The dominance of the current top two has raised the bar in terms of attacking output - setting up chances for others helps, but scoring yourself for a successful side clinches the deal. At least the Belgian is at a club with lofty ambitions, as Manchester City look capable of becoming a European superpower with Pep Guardiola at the helm.
While Dybala is a key figure for Juventus right now, his Ballon d'Or hopes in the long run rely on the opportunity to replace Messi in the Argentina team. Still, at 24, there's no need for the forward to panic. Helping the Bianconeri reach the Champions League final last season helped raise Dybala's profile, while he started the current Serie A campaign with a blistering spell of 10 goals in six games. If he can maintain that hot streak over an extended period, voters will be forced to take notice.
Hazard has dazzled in the Premier League with Chelsea, helping his club secure the title twice while being named in the PFA Team of the Year in four of his five seasons in England. However, for all his brilliance in a blue shirt in recent years, the Belgian is yet to crack the top six in the Ballon voting in his career. Consistently linked with Real Madrid, the 26-year-old may feel a move to one of the big two in Spain might boost his chances of claiming the honour.
Viewed by many as the third best player in the world right now, Neymar is the obvious choice here. The Brazilian, who finished third in 2015 and fifth last year before returning to the top three in 2017, is no longer in the shadow of Messi at Barcelona, with his world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain allowing him to break out on his own. The forward's move outside of Spain should allow him to make a stronger case to win the trophy too, even if Ligue 1 is viewed as a step down from LaLiga.
A team-mate of Neymar's at PSG, teenager Mbappe burst onto the scene last season with his exploits for Monaco and has settled in quickly to life in the French capital. He admitted in October that he still has "a lot of steps to go" to be considered a serious contender for the Ballon d'Or, but the talented teenager has time on his side to outlast not just Messi and Ronaldo, but also the other names included on this list.
25 de marzo 2018
|Clarke not ruling out Australia return|
|Jaguares upset Lions in Buenos Aires|
|Clarke slams ´disgraceful´ Australia over ball-tampering|
|Spurs star Kane the world´s best player, claims Son|
|Whyte calls out Wilder after dispatching Browne|
|Federer to skip clay-court season again|
|Cardiff maintain winning streak, Leinster beaten|
|Montpellier march on, Brive climb off the bottom|
24 de marzo 2018
|De Gea and Ter Stegen criticise World Cup ball|
|Kisner thrashes Poulter to set up Thomas Match Play semi-final|
|Kokkinakis stuns Federer in Miami|
|Neymar to Real Madrid stories a media game, says PSG´s Pastore|
|Falcons rise to the occasion at St James´ Park|
|Celtics´ Irving to return in three to six weeks after surgery|
|Poulter forgets Oosthuizen´s Masters nightmare|
|Miami Open organisers unaware of Wozniacki abuse|
|FA condemns England supporters after trouble in Amsterdam|
|Warriors star Curry´s regular season over after MCL sprain|
|Radwanska stuns Halep to open up Miami draw|
|This is the real Michy - Batshuayi back on track at Dortmund|
|Atherton, Waqar, Du Plessis and now Bancroft - A brief history of ball tampering in cricket|
|Sweden 1 Chile 2: Bolados strikes late winner on debut|
|Stormers hold off rallying Reds at Newlands|
|Italy to name new coach in May, Costacurta confirms|
|Garcia eliminated as Thomas´ Match Play charge continues|
|Wozniacki demands action after Miami Open abuse|
|Smith will not stand down as Australia captain, despite role in Bancroft ball-tampering plot|
|Canada 1 New Zealand 0: Herdman enjoys winning start thanks to Ricketts|
|I saw an opportunity to change the ball condition - Bancroft|
|Wilshere withdraws from England squad to face Italy|
|Colombia collapse a slap for France, says Giroud|
|Vazquez wants Spain to face Messi|
|Gotze, Sahin mentoring Jadon Sancho at Dortmund|
|Low to make changes for Brazil friendly as injured Can heads home|
|Conti targets Milan derby for injury return|
|Bancroft charged over ball-tampering incident|
|Bancroft faces ball-tampering allegations as South Africa take control of third Test|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton out to make pole count, Ricciardo ready to fight|
|Northern Ireland 2 South Korea 1: Son frustrated as World Cup preparations stutter|
|Olympiacos & Nottingham Forest owner denies any wrongdoing over drug trafficking charges|
|I´ll dance with the fans - Gayle ready to party in Harare|
|Two games in two days! Ireland´s Doyle returns from Turkey to play for Bradford|
|Bancroft caught up in ball-tampering row|
|Everything is fine again! Khedira offers positive fitness update|
|Puyol ´doesn´t see any problem´ with Neymar joining Real Madrid|
|Spain already know their team - Sampaoli seeks Argentina certainty|
|No offers for ´happy´ Bellerin, insists Arsenal full-back´s agent|
|F1 teams up with Netflix for documentary series|
|Iker is trembling already! - Ramos hunting down Casillas´ cap record|
|Warriors leave it late to preserve winning start, Hayne injures hip|
|Silva leaves Spain squad for personal reasons|
|Egypt coach Cuper declares Salah among world´s best|
|A-League Review: Simon haunts managerless Mariners, Jakobsen opens City account|
|Ricciardo: I´ve been shot in the ankle before season has even started|
|Alvarez temporarily suspended over positive test|
|Ronaldo trumps Salah, Messi missing - winners and losers from Friday´s internationals|
|Giggs wants Bale to stay at Real Madrid|
|Canes end Highlanders´ winning run|
|Bottas ´sorry´ for qualifying crash|
|Muller and Ozil set to miss Brazil friendly|
|´I wanted to wipe the smile off your face´ - Hamilton-Vettel rivalry already simmering|
|Ramos hails Spain´s belief after Germany draw|
|Buffon not ready to walk away as Italy look to the future|
|Hamilton breaks records to take pole in Melbourne|
|Curry suffers MCL sprain in first game back from ankle injury|
|Rain ruins day three in Auckland|
|Celtics get another short-handed win, Curry injured again|
|Wozniacki exits as Venus, Konta cruise in Miami|
|Wozniacki stunned by Puig in Miami|
|Mexico 3 Iceland 0: Layun scores brace in friendly win|