Few weeks after winning the Federation Internationale de Football Association best men's player prize for helping his national team reach their first ever World Cup final in Russia.
In December 2007, Kaka won the Ballon d'Or and he wouldn't have known what a historic moment it would be for the Brazilian.
While Ronaldo won another Champions League with Real Madrid in a typically prolific year, and Messi continues to mesmerise for Barcelona, both are now in their 30s and neither really stamped their authority on the World Cup in Russian Federation.
"He is an excellent player, very good".
"Modric is an exceptional player". I don't vote. I just hope it is a Frenchman.
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Varane played every minute of France's victorious World Cup campaign, even captaining the team in the draw with Denmark that ensured they topped the Group C, while he also later scored the crucial opening goal in the 2-0 quarter final win over Uruguay. He was injured the night that Los Blancos were humbled by Tottenham at Wembley during the group stage, showing his importance in his absence.
But who do you think should win the award?
In December of a year ago, Modric was in the background of these events, congratulating Cristiano Ronaldo from the crowds as the Portuguese celebrated his fifth Ballon d'Or at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
In the run-up to the gala, several publications have claimed that the top three Ballon d'Or shortlist had been leaked, with each one naming a different trio.
With five Ballon d'Ors each, their domination began in 2008 with the Portuguese attacker winning as a Manchester United player.