THE Ballon d’Or has been dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo since 2008.
Messi has won it five times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015), while Ronaldo has four wins (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016).
But they’re not getting any younger and Football Whispers looks at seven players under the age of 25 who could take their crown in the future…..
Keep up to date with ALL the football news, gossip, transfers and goals on our page plus fixtures, results and live match commentary.
Paulo Dybala has been tipped as the new Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero as he has emerged into the game – and he could definitely live up to the hype of becoming one of the best players in the world.
He has 17 goals and eight assists in all competitions this season, and underlined his talent when he scored twice as Juventus knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.
President of his former club Palermo claims Dybala is now worth £125million, and it’s no surprise that he’s been linked with Barcelona and Real Madrid.
But he signed a new contract this month with no buyout clause and could well help lead Juventus to their first Champions League title since 1996.
Everyone in football is talking about Kylian Mbappe.
Aged just 18, he has the world at his feet and already has 23 goals and eight assists this season.
Thought to be a Real Madrid transfer target, Monaco have slapped a £93m price tag on him.
He’s been a crucial part of the Monegasques’ impressive season, which has seen the exciting young side knock out Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund on the way to the semi-finals of the Champions League as well as topping Ligue 1 with 33 games played.
Team: Manchester United
It’s easy to criticise Paul Pogba.
The world’s most expensive footballer wasn’t even named among the nominees for PFA Premier League Player of the Year after his world-record £89m move back to Old Trafford from Juventus.
But people forget he is only 24 and is still growing as a footballer.
He came 14th in last year’s Ballon d’Or and back in December boss Jose Mourinho claimed he was the best midfielder in the world and has a chance of taking the crown in the future.
Team: Tottenham Hotspur
Dele Alli may have been impressive in his first season with Tottenham Hotspur after joining from MK Dons last year, but it’s this campaign which has really been the one where he’s looked like a star.
With 20 goals and 11 assists in all competitions, All has helped Spurs put real pressure on Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.
His hugely impressive performances have attracted interest from Real Madrid he’s also reportedly a Manchester City transfer target.
Mauricio Pochettino is clearly a big fan too, saying he could surpass the likes of Neymar: “I think Dele Alli has a different personality to to Neymar, but I think he’s a special player too. I don’t know if he’s in this level yet but the potential will be like him or better.”
Team: Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund fought off competition from across Europe when they signed Ousmane Dembele from Rennes last summer.
He had been the subject of Manchester United transfer rumours, with former United man Mikael Silvestre comparing him to a young Cristiano Ronaldo.
Dortmund are building one of the most exciting young attacking teams in Europe, and alongside Christian Pulisic and Julian Weigl, Dembele is a crucial part of that.
He has eight goals and nineteen assists in all competitions this season and it would be no surprise to see that figure dwarfed next season.
With youngsters like Dembele and Mbappe, France fans must be very excited about their future.
Club: Manchester City
Manchester City fans had to wait a while to see Gabriel Jesus in action.
Although his signing was announced last summer, he only officially became a City player in January.
His impact was immediate, scoring three league goals in four games and relegating Sergio Aguero to the bench.
The Brazilian picked up a fractured metatarsal against Bournemouth in February, but he could be back terrorising Premier League defences before the end of the season.
Club: Manchester City
It’s not just Jesus who is a hot prospect at Manchester City, but Leroy Sane has the potential to go to the very top too.
The pacy winger has nine goals and four assists in all competitions since moving from Schalke for £37million in the summer.
Not bad for someone who took a bit of time adapting to English football and didn’t score his first goal until December.
But now he’s got used to his new team, he is one of City’s most potent threats, and with a manager like Guardiola who helped make Messi the best in the world, he’s in the right place to go to the summit of the game.