After being cancelled in 2020, the Ballon d'Or is back, with the great and good of the football world again eyeing the biggest individual honour the game has to offer.
Although the prize will not be handed out until December, performances over the coming weeks will go a long way to deciding who will and won't be in contention to succeed 2019 winner Lionel Messi.
With the European season now behind us and both Euro 2020 and the Copa America well underway, the world's best players are beginning to come to the fore.
So, by using their performances so far, as well as predictions of what is likely still to come in 2021, who holds the most power in this year's race?
We rank the players who have the best chance so far.
6. Romelu Lukaku (Belgium, Inter)
In 2021: Won Serie A.
Lukaku has been one of the dark horses for the award this year after winning Serie A and being the second-highest goalscorer there
Carrying that form through to the Euros, he was unplayable at times against Portugal but getting knocked out in the quarterfinals could prove to be a big roadblock for the Belgian striker.
There is still a chance for him though to have a great start to the new season and get back in contention for the award.
5. Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium, Manchester City)
In 2021: Won Premier League & Carabao Cup and PFA player of the year
De Bruyne hasn't had as good a year as he did previously, but he is still one of the players that are in with a shout.
He won the Premier League, the Carabao Cup and the PFA Player of the year with Manchester City and went up to the quarterfinals of the Euro with Belgium.
Those certainly put him in good stead but one feels that may not be enough unless he has a tremendous start to the new season.
4. Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Bayern Munich)
In 2021: 34 goals, four assists. Won Bundesliga & Club World Cup.
Lewandowski did all he could, but Poland yet again failed miserably at a major tournament, meaning their star striker is likely going to need a surprise winner of the tournament to win the award he should really be defending this year.
Still, his goalscoring feats in the Bundesliga, where he was the top-scorer and broke Gerd Muller's all-time goalscoring record should not be overlooked and he may end up winning the award.
Also, he did win the Club World Cup and the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.
3. Harry Kane (England, Tottenham)
In 2021: Most goals and assists in the Premier League
England captain Harry Kane certainly looked in better form against the Czech Republic in England's final group game of Euro 2020.
From there he has only gone from strength to strength in the Euro 2020 and England are facing Denmark in the semifinal.
For Tottenham, Kane enjoyed his best individual season ever, topping the goalscoring and assists charts in the Premier League.
Kane has four goals to his name and a win in the Euro 2020 will give Kane a massive boost in the Ballon d'Or race, especially if he ends up also being the tournament's top scorer.
2. Lionel Messi (Argentina, Free agent)
In 2021: Won Copa del Rey.
Messi has really kicked into gear with his latest performance in the Copa America against Ecuador where he became the player with the most goals and assists in international knockout matches.
He now has 15 assists and five goals and has overtaken Brazil's Ronaldo, who had 17 such goal contributions.
Along with the Copa del Rey with Barcelona, a win in the Copa America could be possible for Argentina, where they look set to face Brazil in the final, barring any upsets for either team in the semifinals.
That could, then, be enough time for Messi to pick up some momentum as his quest for a first international trophy goes on.
1. N'Golo Kante (France, Chelsea)
In 2021: Won Champions League.
The gap between Kante and the rest of the Ballon d'Or contenders has only widened since the start of Euro 2020, but an early exit for France in the Euro sees the race close up once more.
Right now it is difficult to see past the diminutive Chelsea midfielder claiming the biggest individual prize of them all but if Messi or Kane were to win the Copa or Euro, then Kante might just be usurped to the title.
He has been in sublime form though and has been Chelsea's biggest factor in winning the Champions League this season with a man-of-the-match performance in the final.