Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the envy of football clubs around the world.
Their talent is unquestionable and the current head-to-head battle between the duo for the Ballon d'Or clearly proves that.
However, for the rest of the world's world class talent, they currently don't stand a chance of snatching the annual award from either the Barcelona or Real Madrid star.
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Since 2008, Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the Ballon d'Or, with the former currently boasting five Ballon d'Ors to the Portuguese's three.
If the rivalry between the world's two best players isn't already at fever pitch when their respective sides come up against each other in El Clasico, this personal accolade tops it off.
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For Germany and Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng, he has branded Messi and Ronaldo "from another planet", and admits it's almost impossible for any other player to win the Ballon d'Or until they retire.
"It has been 10 years since Fabio Cannavaro was the last defender to win the Ballon d'Or. It is really hard as a defender. You would have to win the World Cup, make the team of the tournament and ideally score a few goals as well." said Boateng, as per Goal.
"And I am not even taking those two players from another world into account then. It will be very hard for anyone to win the Ballon d'Or so long as Messi and Ronaldo are playing at this level, regardless of whether you are a defender or an attacker. They are superstars."
Boateng enjoyed an impressive 2015/16 campaign, in which he helped Bayern to lift their fourth straight Bundesliga title, and has gone on to become one of best defenders in the world.
But the 28-year-old has all but ruled himself out of being a serious contender for the award, considering the recurring pattern of football's two biggest stars obtaining the award over the past eight years.
And Boateng even went as far as admitting that his Germany teammates would struggle to snatch the award from either Messi or Ronaldo's grasp.
German's can't compete
"We have some great players with the [Germany] national team like Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil," said Boateng. "But nobody will get angry when I say we do not have a player like Messi or Ronaldo. They are extraordinary even at the highest level."
Messi's Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez, Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bayern's Robert Lewandowski are seemingly the only players with an outside chance of ending the duo's incredible run in the Ballon d'Or.
But with Ronaldo helping Portugal to win the European Championships this summer and his typically prolific nature in front of goal for Real, it somewhat suggests 2017's award could swing in the Portuguese forward's favour.
Who will win the 2017 Ballon d'Or? Have your say in the comment box below.
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