Only Luka Modric was able to upset the duoply in 2018 after a stand-out year but other than that, since 2008 it's been Messi and Ronaldo exchanging prizes.
Messi won his seventh on Monday to move two ahead of Ronaldo, but what would the standings look like in a world where the titans of world football didn't exist?
We've gone off who was the next individual along after Messi and Ronaldo.
2008 was when Ronaldo won the Golden Ball for the first time, beating Messi to it. Fernando Torres was also on fire at the time and his third place finish meant he would have scooped the gong.
The pair of midfield maestros would also have been winners in 2011 and 2012 respectively, with Franck Ribery the victor in 2013 after playing a key role in Bayern Munich's treble.
The prize would have stayed in Bavaria for 2014 and gone with Manuel Neuer, with Neymar and Antoine Griezmann winning in 2015 and 2016.
In this hypothetical universe, Neymar would have also got a second Ballon d'Or in 2017 - a year prior to Modric winning for real.
Ronaldo was second on this occasion, with Messi somehow finding himself down in fifth.
2019 was a stellar year for Virgil van Dijk and given his second-placed finish, so he would have become the first defender since Fabio Cannavaro to win the Ballon d'Or.
Last year's award was of course nixed due to COVID-19 pandemic but 2021's prize would have gone to Robert Lewandowski, who continued to bang in the goals for Bayern Munich and finished second.
Lewandowski won 'Striker of the Year' and was only 33 points behind Messi. In his acceptance speech in Paris, the Argentine even admitted that the Pole deserved a Ballon d'Or as he gave props to Lewandowski.
Featured Image Credit: Image: PA
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