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.
|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|
|Thought Mayweather v McGregor was 2017´s biggest sporting event? Think again!|
|Manchester United´s Gomes pens professional contract|
|Al Jazira 1 Real Madrid 2: Bale spares Spanish blushes at Club World Cup|
|Ronaldo takes goalscoring record from Messi|
|Al Jazira stun Real Madrid to take half-time lead in Club World Cup|
|Neymar returns to PSG after break|
|I just went through my routine – Rohit delighted with latest double hundred|
|Vuelta organiser hopes for quick resolution to Froome investigation|
|Iniesta would welcome Barca pursuit of Coutinho|
|FA extends deadline for Manchester clubs to respond over alleged derby fracas|
|Wigan Warriors confirm Sarginson return|
|Magnificent Rohit doubles up as India hammer Sri Lanka|
|Dybala clever enough to listen to Nedved - Buffon|
|Willian not ready to walk out on Chelsea|
|Arsenal striker Lacazette not counting on title miracle|
|Fury licence to be considered by BBBofC in January|
|Sarginson released by Titans|
|World Cup glory worth €350,000 to Germany stars|
|All Blacks skipper Read to undergo back surgery|
|I live day by day - Buffon ponders Euro 2020|
|Remarkable Rohit smashes third ODI double-century|
|West Ham eyeing Wilshere swoop in January|
|Bairstow up to six in unchanged England team|
|Klopp reveals hamstring scare for Liverpool star Salah|
|England can still win Ashes as Hoggard urges Root´s men to smarten up|
|Vuelta champion Froome asked to explain drugs test|
|FFA refuses to speculate on Scolari amid Socceroos interest|
|Mavs spoil Leonard´s season debut, LeBron enjoys career-high night|
|Ronaldo hoping to play with Benzema and Bale again|
|Smith: Pitch conditions in Perth to determine Handscomb fate|
|Packers star Rodgers cleared to return against Panthers|
|Mourinho takes aim at reporters as Man United boss leaves news conference|
|You can put the kickoff back at the 30 – Hester announces retirement|
|Roberts confirms Dodgers were ´very in tune´ with Stanton, Ohtani|
|Fleury set for Golden Knights return after two months in concussion protocol|
|Dodgers All-Star Seager set to avoid elbow surgery|
|´Bull****´ to suggest Chelsea can catch Man City – Conte|
|Pordenone would´ve deserved Coppa Italia progression, admits Spalletti|
|Azarenka granted wildcard for Australian Open|
|Root urges England to stand up and put things right|
|Man City haven´t won anything yet – Gundogan|
|Pierre leads Dinamo Sassari past Pinar Karsiyaka|
|Willian: Chelsea will keep fighting for Premier League title|
|Burnley aren´t the real deal – Dyche|
|Stoger wants to bring best out of BVB after breakthrough victory|
|Conte praises contribution of Hazard, Willian and Pedro|
|Inter 0 Pordenone 0 (AET, 5-4 on penalties): Nagatomo spares Serie A leaders´ blushes|
|Hodgson keeping Palace grounded despite dramatic late win|
|Zouma injury led to Turf Moor defeat – Hughes|
|Guardiola steers carefully around Mourinho criticism after United v City flashpoint|
|Guardiola considering January signings to bolster Manchester City squad|
|Get me in the mix – Ricciardo wants to join Vettel, Hamilton rivalry|
|Crystal Palace 2 Watford 1: Sako, McArthur stun Hornets|