Ask the average football fan, "Who's the best player in the world?" and you may get five or six different answers.
Well while Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo fans may have history on their sides and arguments well-prepared, we're approaching the big two's twilights; it's not as clear-cut as it used to be.
BALLON D’Or 2021 Who are the runners and the riders this time around?
We looked through the top performers this season according to WhoScored to try and find the best player on Earth, at least since the start of the season - and it's safe to say that statistically, there are some surprising inclusions...
10. Vinicius Jr
The boy that Real Madrid hoped would assume Cristiano's mantel is taking a little longer to cook than some hoped - but he's had a blistering start to the season under new boss Carlo Ancelotti, according to the stats.
Vinicius Jr has five goals and two assists in the opening stages of this campaign. WhoScored rate him at 7.63 so far when all their stats are compiled - making him one of Real's standout stars.
9. Alphonso Davies
20-year-old Canadian Alphonso Davies has taken the Bundesliga by storm since bursting into the team, eventually ousting long-term left-back David Alaba - and though some felt his unbelievable progress cooled a little last term, he's been outstanding statistically this season.
Davies has three assists and a WhoScored rating of 7.63 so far. He's thriving in Julian Nagelsmann's system, which is geared to get the most out of the left-back.
8. Teji Savanier
Yep. According to WhoScored, French midfielder Teji Savanier is the eighth-best footballer in the world right now, after starting the Ligue 1 season particularly strongly for Montpellier.
Savanier has a rating of 7.68, thanks in part to the three goals and four assists that he's racked up already this term.
7. Kylian Mbappe
A more familiar Ligue 1 name in lists such as these, wantaway superstar Kylian Mbappe has started the 2021/22 season like a man on a mission, netting five times and assisting four since August.
It correlates with what you can see with the naked eye; the World Cup winner has been excellent in the striker role ahead of the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and the rest of Paris Saint-Germain's incredible side.
6. Trent Alexander-Arnold
A disappointing season last time out, coupled with missing the Euros, has seemed to spur Trent Alexander-Arnold back into the form of his life, as Liverpool have surged into a title race.
Alexander-Arnold has a rating of 7.82 and has made three assists in the opening weeks of the season. The right-back is just as influential as ever for Jurgen Klopp and statistically has been near flawless since returning from the injury that ruined his summer.
5. Dimitri Payet
While Dimitri Payet perhaps occupies a nostalgic corner of your brain associated with whipped free-kicks and rabona assists in east London, he's still balling as much as ever in Marseille.
The playmaker has glittered for Jorge Sampaoli, scoring five and assisting three this season. Statistically speaking, he's still as impeccable as ever.
4. Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski's ascension to god-like production levels over the past two years is showing no sign of slowing down with the prolific Pole rated as 8.14 for the season so far, according to WhoScored.
That takes his 10 Bundesliga goals - count them - this season into account, as Bayern has steadily evolved into his team with everyone else converging to support his efforts. You probably didn't need statistical analysis to tell you how good this guy is, though.
3. Karim Benzema
He was the least flashy of BBC but he's been easily the most important player to Real Madrid since Ronaldo left the group.
With Ancelotti back in the fold, Karim Benzema has continued to blossom as he did under Zinedine Zidane, registering nine goals and seven assists so far this season. WhoScored have awarded him five Man of the Match awards, too - further demonstrating just how influential the Frenchman is.
2. Mohamed Salah
He's no.1 in the Premier League but second overall.
Mohamed Salah is in the prime of his life, having hit 10 Premier League goals and scored in nine consecutive goals in all competitions for Liverpool. While the Reds have gradually revealed themselves to be back to their best, Salah hit the ground running and has been consistently sublime since Matchday 1.
WhoScored measure him with an 8.41 rating this season.
1. Erling Haaland
With nine goals and three assists already this season, Erling Haaland has been central to everything good about Marco Rose's Borussia Dortmund this season, despite only managing 540 minutes in the Bundesliga (six appearances, the lowest in the top 10).
Not only has Haaland been on fire in front of goal and his usual efficient self, he ranks highest in this top 10 for aerial duels and highest for shots-per-game. With 49 goals in his first 49 Dortmund games, can anyone argue with the stats?
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