Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the comparisons are no longer needed; they’re freaks of nature, doing things with a ball that so many of us can’t even process, earth-shattering numbers of goals to games and the like.
It makes unreal talents like Kevin De Bruyne, Gareth Bale and Robert Lewandowski seem average in comparison, which is just crazy!
So, if the two superstars – god forbid – weren’t around, which footballers would be deemed the greatest of their generation?
2008 – Fernando Torres
It's one of those situations where, on one hand, you're devastated that such a talent disappeared, almost overnight. However, on the other hand, you're so pleased that it was Chelsea who got left with an expensive flop.
Source: This Is Anfield
2009 – Xavi
The Barcelona icon never winning the prestigious individual honour is up there with Thierry Henry never winning it. Baffling.
Source: The Blog FC
2010 – Andres Iniesta
Once the scapegoat at Barcelona, now the epitome of what they represent. And at 2010 the Spaniard had the world at his feet.
2011 – Xavi
Always the bridesmaid never the bride.
2012 – Andres Iniesta
Honestly, how did neither of the Spanish midfield maestros never win it?!
2013 – Franck Ribery
Something of a forgotten man, now. However, 2013 was a vintage year for the France winger; the ultimate winger for 12 months.
2014 – Manuel Neuer
I know keepers have as much right as anyone winning it. But it just feels a bit underwhelming, if they do.
2015 – Neymar
When Messi and CR7 step aside, you can just see the Brazilian and Gareth Bale dominating the world's best player awards for years.
2016 – Antoine Griezmann
Deserves it for the celebration alone.