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.
14 de diciembre 2017
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|Benteke goal drought a concern for Hodgson|
|Nibali to skip 2018 Giro to focus on Tour|
|City look frightening – Rose|
|Kahn regrets rejecting Manchester United|
|Ireland scrum-half Marmion commits to Connacht|
|Giants president Mara wants Manning back for 2018|
|Malan pleased to silence the doubters with maiden century|
|No Australia involvement in fixing allegations - Paine|
|Bayern wrapping up Ribery for Christmas|
|Wilshere no closer to signing fresh Arsenal contract|
|Resurgent Rooney has Europe´s best shot-conversion record|
|Froome fears salbutamol stigma for asthma sufferers|
|Pastore bullish over PSG chances against Madrid|
|Paine calls on Australia to trigger England collapse|
|Independiente boss overjoyed by ´dream´ Copa Sudamericana success|
|Malan ´over the moon´ with first Test century|
|Silva is an animal - Guardiola|
|The Ashes Round-up: Malan´s maiden hundred steals the show|
|Malan and Bairstow shine as England prosper in Perth|
|Hewitt to come out of retirement at Australian Open|
|Wenger not blaming Sanchez for Arsenal´s goal woes|
|I haven´t broken any rules - Froome believes legacy remains untainted|
|Stokes finds form with 93 off 47 balls|
|Mourinho can´t find room for misfiring Mkhitaryan|
|De Grandhomme to miss ODI series following death of his father|
|Aggressive Aussies dismiss Stoneman and Root in eventful session|
|Thunder lift George in return to Indiana, Celtics bounce back|
|Stoneman targets Aussies in exciting start to Perth Test|
|Guardiola tells fans Man City won´t stop after record-breaking win|
|George has ´closure´ as Pacers continue to rise|
|Rodgers ´not coming back to save´ Packers|
|Angels manager Scioscia has no concerns about Ohtani´s elbow|
|Mirabelli: Donnarumma has to beg Milan if he wants to leave|
|ICC: No evidence to suggest Ashes Test has been corrupted|
|Marsh comes in for Handscomb as England bat first in Perth|
|Bayern lacked verve, says Heynckes|
|Di Maria wants more game time at PSG after goalscoring display|
|Monaco stay unbeaten, Ludwigsburg crush PAOK|
|Fixing allegations ´of serious concern´ to Cricket Australia|
|Gattuso: Donnarumma shaken by abuse from AC Milan fans|
|Pellegrino calls for Southampton reaction|
|Benitez ´needs to know´ extent of Newcastle´s transfer budget|
|Zidane will not request striker signing despite Benzema blanks|
|Bournemouth excellent in Old Trafford loss – Howe|
|Wilshere´s performance ´very positive´, says Wenger|
|Pochettino challenges Spurs to keep top-four berth|
|I´d be in Brazil if the title race was over – Mourinho|
13 de diciembre 2017
|It was hard to watch - Clement wowed by City´s dominance of Swansea|
|Bailly may require surgery on ´serious´ ankle injury|
|Klopp uncertain on Solanke´s disallowed goal|
|Guardiola sure record-breaking City won´t get complacent|
|Puel focuses on Leicester win, not Southampton revenge|
|Strasbourg 2 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Revenge is sweet for Emery´s men|
|Tottenham 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 0: Aurier scores a fluke as Spurs go fourth|
|West Ham 0 Arsenal 0: Wasteful Gunners drop points for third game in a row|
|Liverpool 0 West Brom 0: More frustration for Klopp as hosts draw again|
|Manchester United 1 Bournemouth 0: Lukaku eases scoring concerns after derby day woes|
|AC Milan 3 Verona 0: Bonaventura shines as Gattuso´s side march on|
|Manchester City set new Premier League winning streak|
|Newcastle United 0 Everton 1: Rooney haunts Magpies again|
|Swansea City 0 Manchester City 4: Silva sparkles as Guardiola´s record-breakers march on|
|Southampton 1 Leicester City 4: Puel serves up Saints revenge|
|Bayern Munich 1 Cologne 0: Lewandowski opens nine-point gap in Bundesliga|
|Finn: There was ´way more´ going out during England´s 2010-11 Ashes tour|
|Jaguars formula the key to playoff success for Wentz-less Eagles|
|Mourinho slams Manchester derby penalty decision in programme notes|
|This is my last season at Monaco – Fabinho|
|Bale: Football would be better without VAR|