Ronaldo and Messi aside, who is the world's best?

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the best two footballers in the world.

Let's not reopen the raging debate over who is the best, we have all had that argument at some point or another, for now we can accept they are the top two.

But, after a season where several world class players have massively upped their game, who should complete the top three? GiveMeSport takes a look at the candiates...

Franck Ribery

Since the start of last season, Bayern Munich have lifted two domestic cups, two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League, plus they are in another Champions League semi-final.

At the heart of the efficient German team lies Franck Ribery, the silky left winger who is a horror for full-backs. Last season he hit eight league goals and 15 assists, whilst this term already he has 10 goals in Germany.

Ribery's whole career has been based on pulling defenders in and curling beautiful shots in to the top corner, but in the past two seasons he has perfected his game.

He won the 2012/13 UEFA European Player of the year award and was a contender for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or, an award he after insisted he should have won.

Countless medals have been placed in his trophy cabinet in recent years, but do trophies really count towards individual ability?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Next up is the ever present Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 33 games in and 'The Zlat'  has hit 25 goals, not bad for a 32-year-old.

The much travelled forward has been among the best around for almost his whole career but his two years at the French champions has seen him prove many of his doubters wrong - with 64 goals in 55 games.

Ibra has proved himself as one of the most skilful, classy players to have ever graced the field but it seems his lack of 'explosive' pace compared to Messi or Ronaldo has held him back from getting official recognition.

I don't think it makes any difference, but it seems voters for the 'Golden Ball' see it differently.

Luis Suarez

Sitting atop the Premier League lies Luis Saurez and his Liverpool counterparts, and the Uruguayan's importance to this cause cannot be underestimated.

Despite missing the first five games of the season after yet another controversial ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic, Suarez has spent his other 28 league games dazzling and stunning the opposition with a goal return of 29.

He has been sensational and has got Liverpool out of a few tricky situations this season on his own in spectacular fashion. His dribbling is much more consistent this season, he seems less selfish and has stayed relatively clear of trouble this term.

The only criticism could be his diving antics - evident against Manchester City - and that can rile up football fans. But with another 11 assists to his name it takes his goal involvement to a massive 40 - is he up there with the best right now?

Marco Reus

Perhaps the most surprising of the list is 24-year-old left winger Marco Reus.

During a disappointing season Borussia Dortmund have been plagued by injuries and it has been hard for most players to score in their weakened team - one of those who hasn't held back though is Reus.

Already he has 14 league goals, and put two past Real Madrid last week in an enthralling near-comeback. A few days back he terrorised a Bayern Munich defence that has looked impenetrable all season in a 3-0 win.

Maturing from a boy to man over the summer, Reus is one of the most dangerous players around at the moment and has attracted strong interest from Europe's top clubs.

Who wins?

Despite all four having fantastic campaigns and all being world class players, only one has truly stood out from the pack, and that is Luis Suarez.

His goal and assist haul has been phenomenal and has only been topped by Messi and Ronaldo, so it seems fair that he should finish off the podium.

Controversy and scandals behind him, it seems like Suarez is finally ready to go and challenge the big guns.

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Luis Suarez
Franck Ribery

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