Football fans are used to watching Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo going head-to-head for the biggest individual accolades in the game.
It must be hard for the likes of Neymar and Antoine Griezmann knowing that, no matter how well they perform, the best they can hope for is third place.
It’s been that way since 2008, when Messi and Ronaldo’s dominance began. Since then, the La Liga pair have shared the Ballon d’Or every year - Messi winning it five times, the Real Madrid ace four - and it’s unlikely the pattern will be disrupted when the 2017 winner is announced in December.
You have to go back to 2007 when a player not named Messi or Ronaldo was considered the best in the world.
Brazilian ace Kaka scooped the Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s World Player of the Year award following a season in which he helped AC Milan win the Champions League.
And Kaka will never forget the time when he was viewed as the finest footballer on the planet.
"I won the Ballon d'Or and World Player of Year against Cristiano and Messi," he told the Daily Mail in 2015, per Goal.
"They win it every year now, but I could beat them back then. For me that's important because I had the best opponents. I'm proud when I see that."
Kaka beat CR7 and Messi to 2007 FIFA award
At the FIFA awards in December 2007, Kaka came out on top with 1,047 of the votes cast by national coaches and captains.
Messi polled 504 votes, Ronaldo, who was a Manchester United player at the time, 426.
There was a bizarre moment when Kaka collected his World Player of the Year award alongside Messi and Ronaldo that many won’t remember.
Kaka had already received his gold prize when Messi and Ronaldo were called up.
The speaker quite clearly says, “Second position Lionel Messi and third position Cristiano Ronaldo,” yet the Portuguese star might not have heard correctly, for he collected the silver award meant for Messi.
It led to an incredibly awkward exchange of trophies between Ronaldo and the Barcelona maestro before the three players posed for photos.
Thankfully for Ronaldo, social media wasn’t as popular 10 years ago and so he managed to get away with his gaffe.
But you’ll probably be glad you’ve watched it now, even just to see Messi’s long hair.
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