Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been the two most consistent performers over the last five years, that much is undeniable.

But just who can be considered the third best player in the world? In my opinion, there are three contenders. But do you agree? Leave a comment below with your suggestions.

NEYMAR - Santos

The 20-year-old is already being compared to the best in the business for his wonderful footwork and his eye for the goal.

That said, Neymar hasn't proved himself on the world stage yet, and he is unlikely to be referred to as a true great until he's performed consistently for one of Europe's elite. The Brazilian front-man has hinted that a move to Europe could be on the cards, but only after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Neymar has scored some spectacular goals for Santos and has won FIFA Puskas Award in 2011. The hottest property in Brazilian football is wanted by the biggest clubs in the world, most recently linked with a switch to Bayern Munich.

RADAMEL FALCAO - Atletico Madrid

The Colombian striker is the only player in FIFPro World XI who is not at either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

Be it Europa League or UEFA Super Cup, the Atletico Madrid striker has proved his worth and is one of the most sought-after players in Europe with interest from Real Madrid, Chelsea and others.

He has already scored 18 goals in 18 games for his club this season, with experts considering him to be the deadliest striker in the world.

Falcao surpassed Jurgen Klinsmann's 15-year-old record for goals in a single UEFA Europa League or UEFA Cup season, scoring 17 goals as FC Porto won the competition in 2011.

ROBIN VAN PERSIE - Manchester United

The 2012 PFA Fans' Player of the Year moved from north London to Manchester United in the summer.

After single-handedly guiding Arsenal to a third-place finish last season with his 30 goals, the Dutchman has established himself at Old Trafford as a firm favourite amongst the fans.

Van Persie has already scored 23 goals in all competitions and continues to go from strength-to-strength.

The 28-year-old striker is a strong contender for Ballon d’Or 2013, although it remains to be seen whether Van Persie can break the stranglehold that Lionel Messi has over football's top award.

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