Around two weeks ago, Barcelona's Xavi waited in anticipation with teammates Messi and Iniesta in hopes of winning the first ever Fifa Ballon d'Or.
However, Xavi, the early favorite, finished in third behind his more prolific and perhaps flashy companions.
Many Spanish fans were disappointed, and so were many world football followers, to boot.
While Xavi is not deadly in front of goal, he is always the most hardworking player on the field. His passing abilities and vision are unmatchable, and he is the engine of the hugely successful Barcelona and the Spanish national team.
However, Xavi is already 30, and as brilliant as he is, his best days are over. His chance to win the much deserved accolade of best player on Earth has passed him, and his years with Barcelona are limited.
A player like Xavi comes around once in a lifetime, and absolutely no one can replace Xavier Hernández i Creus.
But when the time comes, Xavi's career will end, and Barcelona and Spain will have to look for someone to fill the huge void which is left.
Let us take a look at the five most likely players to succeed Xavi.