We've looked back and come up with the year's 10 best individual performers, placing emphasis on individual excellence and consistency, rather than trophies won. Teams win trophies, not individuals.
10. Luka Modric
Elegance personified, Luka Modric has battled through injuries to be the beating heartbeat of the most aesthetically pleasing Real Madrid side we've seen for quite some time. Even the Croatian's tackles look the work of a great Renaissance sculptor.
9. Harry Kane
When it comes to goals no one outdid Harry Kane in 2017. The Tottenham striker hammered home a staggering 56 times, including a stunning eight hat-tricks. No centre-forward had a better year than the Big Daddy Kane.
8. Eden Hazard
The Belgian was Chelsea's ultimate weapon in 2017, the whirling dervish of dribbles upon whom they relied for nearly all their energy and creative thrust. Without him Chelsea can be prosaic, with him? Poetry.
Isco Disco! The man who went from mistreated sub on the verge of leaving to free-roaming no. 10 dominating the biggest games and best opponents (Real Madrid lost both Clásicos he didn't play). Isco has been so good and the only Madrid player to survive their contextually poor start to season 2017/18.
6. Kylian Mbappé
PSG & Monaco
Despite being just a teenager, Kylian Mbappe took the world by storm in 2017. He scored in 4 straight knockout games in the Champions League and began hammering opponents at home too. A colossal move to PSG followed and since he's been back home in Paris he's looked every bit as unstoppable as before.
5. Kevin De Bruyne
It's a testament to Pep Guardiola's coaching skill that De Bruyne, once a winger, is now looking like one of the best midfielders in the world. An effortless conductor of Europe's finest side in Manchester City, nearly everything De Bruyne does looks effortless and beautiful, including scoring long-range piledrivers with his left foot.
4. Sergio Busquets
In a year that Barcelona began in terrible form, Busquets was one of three players whose level didn't drop. Once again expanding his scope and controlling more of Barcelona's play than ever whilst still nullifying so much of what their opponents do, Busquets has consistently and brilliantly reaffirmed his status as the best midfielder in the world.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
Kane has him beat on pure numbers but when it comes to goals that count no one can top Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017. The rest of his game has diminished to the point of invisibility but if you want a high-stakes goalscorer there is literally no one you'd pick ahead of Real Madrid's no. 7. Huge goals in quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. Goals that won games, titles, made history. Goals galore from this glorious man.
PSG & Barcelona
The Heir Apparent: Neymar orchestrated countless moments of brilliance for Barcelona, including their miracle 6-1 win over PSG, before then joining the Parisians in a world-record €222m transfer. In Paris he's had personal troubles but professionally is on another level, bamboozling opponents, creating and scoring chances in a team he can call his own.
1. Leo Messi
There could be no one else. In 2017 Leo Messi has redefined excellence even by his own Everest-sized standards. The best player in the world somehow got better: now he plays orchestrating midfield and then glides forward into being an enigmatic no. 10 before finishing it off as a deadly forward.
That Messi ended the year with more goals than anyone besides Kane despite spending most of the year playing midfield speaks volumes as to his genius. The dribbles, the passes, the way so much he does is a supernatural combination of effortless and impossibly intricate; there's simply no one like Leo Messi.