This year could very well be the first since 2007 that Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t win the Ballon d’Or.
Reports have emerged from Italy claiming that Luka Modric, Kylian Mbappe and Raphael Varane will be the finalists for this year’s award, which will be held on December 3.
Modric has already won FIFA’s The Best award. Messi and Ronaldo could very well end the year empty-handed.
This isn’t to say that the pair have been bad in 2018, though. Ronaldo has scored nine goals in 12 goals for Juventus while Messi was La Liga’s top goalscorer last season.
Yet both didn’t feature in the latter stages of the biggest tournament of the year - the World Cup in Russia - unlike the three reported finalists.
Not since Kaka in 2007 has any other player won the Ballon d’Or.
Messi and Ronaldo have just been that far ahead.
Football writer debates the best without Messi and Ronaldo
But, if we were to take the out of the equation, just who would sit on football’s throne?
Greg Johnson of football.london has attempted to answer that question by naming the best player each year in the 2010s besides Messi and Ronaldo.
Incredibly, he fails to mention Andres Iniesta.
Many believe that the Spanish playmaker deserved to win the award in 2010, in which he scored the winning goal in the World Cup final.
Iniesta has even received an apology from France Football for never having awarded him the Ballon d’Or in his career.
Johnson’s opinion was always going to cause a stir. Here’s how he reacted to the debate.
It’s pretty surprising that Luis Suarez doesn’t make his list either, but everyone’s free to their own opinion.
The Uruguayan was sensational in his final two seasons for Liverpool, though, and he scored 59 goals in 53 games for Barcelona in 2015-16.
So, time to find out what you think. Let us know your list of the best player each year in the 2010s besides Messi and Ronaldo in the comments section below.