Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona, Real Madrid, FIFA Awards
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo vie for another coveted awardReuters

At the end of the day, no matter who impresses over a season, how well he plays, how many goals he scores, how many trophies he wins, the competition for the best player in the world honours will come down to two – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo beats Messi to Ballon d'Or

Messi and Ronaldo play for two of the biggest clubs in the world, bang in goals for fun and are so much more above the rest of the pack that it always is the two and then the rest.

Antoine Griezmann might be the latest to try and crash the Messi and Ronaldo party, but there is little doubt that when The Best FIFA Men's Player Award – FIFA's newly-minted award after their break up with Ballon d'Or – is handed out on Monday, the winner will be either Ronaldo or Messi.

Messi, as good as he was last season, is likely to have to sit in his seat when the winner is announced, because Ronaldo is the overwhelming favourite to win it this year. The Portuguese superstar won the Ballon d'Or award last month and is widely expected to add the FIFA award to his collection as well.

Ronaldo, apart from scoring goals for fun last season, won the Champions League with Real Madrid and then the Euro 2016 title with Portugal. While Real Madrid winning Europe's premier club competition is not that surprising, Portugal's victory was, and Ronaldo played a big part in his country clinching their first ever major title, even if he had to leave the final early through injury.

It is largely due to his performance in Euro 2016 that Griezmann finds himself in the three-man shortlist, with the forward winning the golden boot award as France reached the final before going down to Ronaldo's Portugal. Griezmann was also a losing finalist in the Champions League when his Atletico Madrid side narrowly lost out to their local rivals.

As good as Griezmann was last season, Ronaldo and Messi, who won the La Liga and Copa Del Rey titles with Barcelona, while missing out on that international crown with Argentina, yet again, when his country went down to Chile in the final of the Copa America Centenario, remain the favourites to become the inaugural winner of the award.

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