The five players Cristiano Ronaldo tipped for greatness in 2015

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have led the way in football for well over a decade now.

They've set a benchmark for what it takes to be the best in the world and no one has come close to overtaking them, irrespective of Luka Modric ending their Ballon d'Or duopoly in 2018.

Even at the age of 34 and 32 respectively, Ronaldo and Messi continue to dominate in Europe and it's a wonder who will take the throne.

There are a number of candidates, of course, but it's going to take something special for Ronaldo and Messi to surrender their status as the two world's best players.

Could it be Neymar, who looks set to rejoin Barcelona this summer? Or maybe Eden Hazard, who finally completed a dream move to Real Madrid from Chelsea?

Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe is another in contention, despite being seven years younger than teammate Neymar.

Only time will tell, but back in 2015, Ronaldo tipped five players for greatness and it's interesting to look at what's happened since.

"You see many players with potential," Ronaldo said. "I will mention Martin Odegaard of Madrid, for example. At 16 he's still young but you can see he's a very good player.

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"Hazard is also another example, the number seven of Manchester United, Memphis Depay is a good player too, Paul Pogba and maybe Neymar."

So, how have Ronaldo's special five fared over the past four years? Let's take a look.

NEYMAR

For a long time Neymar was tipped to succeed Ronaldo and Messi at the top and it was thought his move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 would push him to that level.

But two years on and the 27-year-old's value has plummeted and he's not even the main man at PSG anymore. Returning to Barcelona could be the kick up the backside he needs.

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EDEN HAZARD

Real Madrid seriously struggled without Ronaldo last season, so this summer they splashed €100m to sign Hazard and gave him the famous No.7 shirt.

The Belgian is widely regarded as the third best player in the world behind Ronaldo and Messi, and now he has the platform to go one step further.

MARTIN ODEGAARD

It's been four years since Real Madrid signed Odegaard and in that time he's impressed for Heerenveen, Vitesse and now Real Sociedad on loan.

But with his 21st birthday fast approaching, it's time for the Norwegian to start making his mark at Los Blancos under Zinedine Zidane if he's going to realise his full potential.

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MEMPHIS DEPAY

Ronaldo got this one very wrong. Depay was tipped to become a star when he joined Manchester United from PSV Eindhoven in 2015, but things quickly turned sour for the Dutchman.

Two disappointing years at Old Trafford saw Depay join Lyon for £16m and even though he's rediscovered his form since then, it's very unlikely that he'll ever achieve greatness.

PAUL POGBA

There's a sense that this season could be make or break for Pogba, who has now been at United for over three years but continues to be doubted.

Real Madrid reportedly want the 26-year-old Frenchman and leaving United could be what he needs to show the world what he's really capable of. There's still time.

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