It’s been yet another unforgettable year for world football.
Leicester City defied all odds to win the Premier League; Real Madrid won their 11th Champions League title; and Portugal were the unexpected winners of Euro 2016.
Elsewhere, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar steered Barcelona to another La Liga and Cope del Rey double, while Chile trumped Argentina to win their second-successive Copa America.
Where individual success is concerned, Cristiano Ronaldo is closing in on a fourth Ballon d’Or, Riyad Mahrez was crowned PFA Players’ Player of the Year and the aforementioned Suarez won the Pichichi Trophy.
But who had the best 2016? Here’s the top 10 from Goal.com‘s ‘Goal 50’, which is designed to rank the world’s 50 best players.
10. ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC (MANCHESTER UNITED)
Thirty-five-years-old and still going strong, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored 38 league goals to fire Paris Saint-Germain to Ligue 1 glory last season before joining Manchester United.
9. GONZALO HIGUAIN (JUVENTUS)
Like Ibrahimovic, Gonzalo Higuain struck 38 times in Serie A – a new record – for Napoli and later secured a big-money move to Juventus.
8. ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI (BAYERN MUNICH)
An out-and-out goal machine, Robert Lewandowski enjoyed a phenomenal title-winning season with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, scoring 30 goals.
7. RIYAD MAHREZ (LEICESTER CITY)
Riyad Mahrez last season: 17 goals, 11 assists and one Premier League title. Incredible.
6. NEYMAR (BARCELONA)
Tipped to succeed teammate Messi as the world’s best, Neymar helped Barcelona to an impressive double and scored the winning penalty for Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics final.
5. GARETH BALE (REAL MADRID)
Winning the Champions League with Real Madrid is but the tip of Gareth Bale’s 2016 iceberg, also steering Wales to the semi-finals at Euro 2016.
4. LIONEL MESSI (BARCELONA)
No room in the top three for Lionel Messi. The 29-year-old has ‘enjoyed’ an eventful year, having won La Liga and the Copa del Rey but lost to Chile with Argentina in the Copa America final.
3. ANTOINE GRIEZMANN (ATLETICO MADRID)
It’s been a year of ecstasy and heartbreak for Antoine Griezmann, who reached the Champions League and Euro 2016 final but fell at the final hurdle on both occasions.
2. LUIS SUAREZ (BARCELONA)
Luis Suarez just keeps getting better and better. His 40 league goals fired Barcelona to a 24th La Liga title and beat Messi and Ronaldo to the Pichichi for the first time since 2009.
1. CRISTIANO RONALDO (REAL MADRID)
Well, what can you say? Winner of the Champions League and Euro 2016, Ronaldo’s incredible 2016 will likely be capped by winning a fourth Ballon d’Or in January.