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The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) give out a yearly award for the top performer in the role and they elected to use data to determine who was the most productive player between 2011 and 2020.
The formula used saw the top 20 players from each year receive points based on where they were ranked.
First place collected twenty points, second was given nineteen and twentieth gained just one point, to give an overall list in a nine-year period.
And it was six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi who emerged victorious. The winner of the award in 2015, 2017, 2017 and 2019, Messi's dominance saw him accrue an impressive 174 points.
Cristiano Ronaldo is renowned for his incredible goalscoring abilities but the five-time Ballon d'Or winner manages to make this list - his 54 points placing him twelfth overall.
Here is the star-studded top 20 list in full:
1. Lionel Messi - 174 points
2. Andres Iniesta - 127 points
3. Luka Modric - 113 points
4. Kevin De Bruyne - 103 points
5. Toni Kroos - 90 points
6. Eden Hazard - 77 points
7. Neymar - 71 points
8. Mesut Ozil - 69 points
9. Andrea Pirlo - 63 points
10. Yaya Toure - 60 points
11. Xavi Hernandez - 55 points
12. Cristiano Ronaldo - 54 points
13. David Silva - 52 points
14. James Rodriguez - 42 points
15. Bastian Schweinsteiger - 40 points
16. Christian Eriksen - 38 points
17. Riyad Mahrez - 38 points
18. Paul Pogba - 35 points
19. Thiago Alcantara - 33 points
20. Isco - 25 points
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