Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo once again lead the way after the 23-man shortlist for the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or was revealed.
The Barcelona and Real Madrid stars have shared the award for the last seven years and it appears history will repeat itself for a fifth consecutive time with the two superstars dominating the voting.
However, this year's award could be the most significant in Ronaldo's hopes of becoming the best player of all time.
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The Ballon d'Or is a marker for greatness in modern football and, with both players winning every piece of silverware at club level, the battle between Messi and Ronaldo will come down to individual success.
Having played an integral role in Barcelona's historic treble, Messi is the odds-on favourite to scoop the award with Sky Bet placing him at 1/5. Ronaldo is the second favourite at 4/1 while Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is 16/1.
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The Argentine has not won the Ballon d'Or since 2012 but is almost certain to claim his fifth title on 11 January 2016. In doing so, he could cement his position as the greatest of all time.
Having won the Golden Ball on three occassions, Ronaldo's hopes of ever catching his biggest rival could be over.
The Portugal captain has stated his dream is to retire at the Bernabeu and claims he can play until he is 40.
However, it seems unlikely he would be able to stop Messi adding yet another Ballon d'Or to his collection.
In the end, it often comes down to whose team enjoys more success. Ronaldo will be hoping Los Blancos can right the wrongs of last season and, if his early form is anything to go by, the Portuguese means business.
But with the January transfer window fast approaching, Barca will be looking to strengthen their squad as they look to repeat their unrivalled success of last season.
HERE ARE THE NOMINEES
Sergio Aguero (Argentina/Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/Paris St Germain), Andres Iniesta (Spain/Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich), Javier Mascherano (Argentina/Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Thomas Muller (Germany/Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil/Barcelona), Paul Pogba (France/Juventus), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/Barcelona), Arjen Robben (Holland/Bayern Munich), James Rodriguez (Colombia/Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Chile/Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/Barcelona), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast/Manchester City), Arturo Vidal (Chile/Bayern Munich).
Who will win the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or? Let us know your opinion by leaving a comment below!
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