It's mostly a subjective issue, but we've sourced Futaa's readers' opinions and those of our editorial team to identify the best players in the world over the last decade.
Here are the results after lengthy team discussions.
For his consistently brilliant footwork and distribution, 2014 World Cup winner and Bayern Munich legend Manuel Neuer is our pick between the sticks. You've gotta be good to be mentioned in the same breath as legends like Buffon and talents of the calibre of David De Gea and Jan Oblak.
Philipp Lahm may consider himself unlucky to be excluded from the starting side, but there's no shame in losing out to Dani Alves. The Brazilian won 38 trophies during a highly-decorated career for club and country, most notably 23 at Barcelona where he supplied assists after assist. 2010's World Cup-winning defenders Sergio Ramos & Gerard Pique may be club rivals but they've been through thick and thin for Spain, winning three major international tournaments in a row between 2010 and 2012. Let's not get started on the pair's numerous honours with Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Dani Alves has won 38 trophies in his senior career:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 8, 2018
🏆 23 for Barcelona 🇪🇸
🏆 5 for Sevilla 🇪🇸
🏆 4 for PSG 🇫🇷
🏆 3 for Brazil 🇧🇷
🏆 2 for Juventus 🇮🇹
🏆 1 for Bahia 🇧🇷
One of the most decorated players ever. pic.twitter.com/MicvY1ejL6
Marcelo has been at Real Madrid for 13 years and most of that time was spent beyond the halfway line. Four Champions League trophies and countless swashbuckling performances make him a modern great. He also won Copa America glory with Brazil earlier this year.
When Spain dominated world football between 2008 and 2012, Barcelona lynchpin Xavi was the man who made them tick. The midfield metronome had a telepathic understanding with his gifted artist of a clubmate, Andrés Iniesta. Although he was never a prolific goal-scorer, Iniesta came up with goals in the very biggest stages, including the winner in the World Cup final. The man who made football look a bit like an artistic dance also had big match temperament in abundance. This pair will go down as club and international greats for generations to come.
German maestro Toni Kroos was the heartbeat of Germany's triumph in Brazil five years ago, as well as the fulcrum of Real Madrid's ridiculous dominance of the Champions League between 2014 and 2018. To this day, Kroos looks to have so much time on the ball, and that's usually a sign of a great.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's decade-long rivalry at the pinnacle of our sport is the stuff of legend, and Luis Suárez's stunning goal-scoring consistency meant that he could operate on the same level as arguably the two greatest footballers of all time.
🧮 Substitutes to make up a 23-man squad
David De Gea, Gianluigi Buffon
Giorgio Chiellini, Mats Hummels, Philipp Lahm
Sergio Busquets, Blaise Matuidi, David Silva
Antoine Griezmann, Robert Lewandowski, Sergio Agüero, Thomas Müller
🌟 Honourable mentions
Jan Oblak, Diego Godin, Leonardo Bonucci, Jerome Boateng, Vincent Kompany, John Terry, Jordi Alba, David Alaba, Kevin De Bruyne, Arturo Vidal, Miralem Pjanic, Luka Modric, Xabi Alonso, Thiago Alcantara, Wesley Sneijder, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Juan Mata, Dries Mertens, Eden Hazard, Arjen Robben, Harry Kane, Diego Costa, Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappe, Sadio Mane, Wayne Rooney, Gonzalo Higuain, Roberto Firmino, Didier Drogba.
Who have we left out?
The world's brightest stars have treated us for the last decade and we can't wait to see what's in store in 2020 and beyond.
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