Antoine Griezmann lists five players who compete as the 'best of the rest' behind Messi & Ronaldo

Antoine Griezman believes there are 4 other players trailing behind Messi and Ronaldo.

Individual awards have been dominated by two men over the past decade: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

No award demonstrates this better than the Ballon d'Or, from 1998 to 2007 there were ten different winners of football's greatest individual prize - the following ten years have seen two.

Only Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten had managed to win it three times before Messi and Ronaldo came along, and perhaps even scarier, none of them ever finished runner-up.

Despite being three of the all-time greats, they were each only in the top two for three years each, whereas football's new kings can look back over a decade of dominance.

That's pretty amazing to think about; Messi and Ronaldo are unprecedented in the history of European football and we almost certainly won't see their like for a very long time, if ever.

Antoine Griezmann, who finished just behind the duo in 2016's voting, is expected to rival them this year after leading Atletico Madrid to the Europa League title and winning the World Cup with France, but even he believes things are set to stay the same.

"It's still going to be 'Cristiano, Messi, and the rest' for a while," he told "Those of us below them have to try and get closer, but it's a big gap to close.

"I always try to improve on what I did the previous season, because matching what Messi and Cristiano do by scoring 50 to 60 goals a year is very difficult.

Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his five Ballon d'Or awards last season.

"They're on a different level - you can maybe be up there with them one year, but not the next."

Instead, Griezmann sees himself in the pack behind the duo and he even went as far as naming those players that he compares himself to.

"I do compare myself with Neymar, [Robert] Lewandowski, [Kylian] Mbappe, who's on fire at the moment, and [Eden] Hazard," he said. "I try to be the best and see what the others do."

It's a solid list, although you can bet that most people would tweak it slightly in their own way.

Lionel Messi poses with his teammates after winning his fifth Ballon d'Or.

All five of them, including Griezmann, could perhaps have put their name on the trophy in any other era but instead, they have to make do with the best of 'the rest', as the Frenchman puts it.

One thing's for sure - when Messi and Ronaldo are gone, the race for the Ballon d'Or will be a very interesting one.

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