The Ballon d'Or returns after a year of absence and the highest winner Lionel Messi is favourite to make history and win a record seventh prize.
Last year's award was cancelled due a football calendar disrupted by the pandemic – a controversial decision which saw Robert Lewandowski almost certainly denied his first golden ball in a year where Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi got outbeaten quite prolifically.
Bayern Munich's Polish striker is among the frontrunners once again, but Messi finally winning the Copa America earlier this year has put him top of the pile in this year's odds.
If Messi does win, it would be his seventh Ballon d'Or award, a record tally which would see him move two clear of his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Besides, if Messi wins, he will have more Ballon d'Or awards (7) than the addition of all the active players currently, Ronaldo (5) and Modric (1).
The award, presented by French magazine France Football, is considered the highest individual honour in football. It was established in 1956 and was only eligible for European players up until 1995, before voting was opened up to all players at European clubs. From 2007, it became a global award.
Barcelona's Alexia Putellas could win the women's award after a stellar year which included victory in the Champions League. Awards for the best men's young player (Kopa Trophy) and goalkeeper (Yashin Trophy) will also be handed out. There are also two new awards this year: best club and best striker.
Lionel Messi has scored 32 goals and assisted 11 goals, which means the Argentine has 43 goal involvements, in the 39 games he played this year.
Meanwhile, the closest contender Robert Lewandowski has scored 51 goals and assisted 5 goals, which means the Polish has 56 goal involvements, in the 39 games he played this year.
Although Lewandowski has more goal involvements that Messi in the year, yet Messi has the odds to win this year's Ballon d'Or for the numerous chances he created for both his club and country alongside being the most integral part of his teams in winning the Copa America and Copa Del Rey.
Barcelona's Alexia Putellas and Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema lead the charge for the women's award, which began in 2019. Putellas scored in the final as the all-conquering Barca won the Champions League, while Miedema is both Netherlands and Women's Super League all-time leading goalscorer and racked up goals at the Olympic Games.
Spain's Pedri is expected to win the Kopa Trophy for the best men's young player, while Chelsea's Edouard Mendy and PSG's Gianluigi Donnarumma lead the running for the men's goalkeeper award, the Yashin Trophy.