Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar and more - the top 10 football stars of 2017

Old rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi lead the way in our top 10 footballers of 2017 list - but who else makes the cut?

It was no surprise to see Cristiano Ronaldo claim his fifth Ballon d'Or title, as the Portuguese star finally matched Lionel Messi's record haul. The 32-year-old scored 42 goals for Real Madrid across all competitions in 2016-17, helping Zinedine Zidane's side to domestic and European success. Ronaldo could well be entering the twilight years, as Madrid's focus switches from him to the likes of Isco and Marco Asensio, but we have certainly not seen the last of the former Sporting wonderkid just yet.
Despite Ronaldo claiming his fifth Ballon d'Or crown this year, Lionel Messi - who turned 30 in June - has enjoyed a stellar 2017. Barcelona flattered to deceive towards the end of Luis Enrique's tenure, but under Ernesto Valverde, Messi has inspired the LaLiga giants back to the summit in Spain thanks to his 14 league goals in 15 appearances. But perhaps the highlight of Messi's 2017 will be his heroic display for Argentina in their crucial World Cup qualifier against Ecuador. His magnificent hat-trick secured a place in Russia.
Neymar wanted the spotlight and he certainly commanded it when his world-record EUR 222 million move to Paris Saint-Germain became the year's biggest story. Though finishing third in the Ballon d'Or count marked an improvement it was perhaps still a disappointment, as was only winning the Copa del Rey in his final Barcelona season.
Harry Kane is now performing at such a consistent level that, to the Tottenham man, 2017 might well be considered a fairly normal year - despite scoring 50 goals for club and country. The England international collected another Premier League Golden Boot, remains in the hunt for a third this season - while helping Spurs to the Champions League knockout stages - and established himself as a leading candidate to captain his country in Wayne Rooney's absence. Same old, same old...
Our sole Serie A pick, Dries Mertens has enjoyed a stellar 2017, plundering 32 goals so far for Napoli and finishing just one goal behind Edin Dzeko in the race for the 2016-17 season Golden Boot having moved from out wide into a central role. He also played an integral role in helping Belgium qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year - where he will face England in the group stage.
Despite turning 29 in August, Robert Lewandowski is showing few signs of slowing down, having scored 14 goals in 15 league appearances for Bayern Munich in 2017-18. At this rate, he will eclipse the 30 Bundesliga goals he scored in the two previous seasons and Bayern looks set to win its sixth consecutive title. His nine goals for Poland in 2017 were pivotal in securing Adam Nawalka's side the top place in Group E ahead of Denmark, and Lewandowski will be a heavily marked man at the finals in Russia.
What a year Mohamed Salah has enjoyed as he heads into the festive period as the Premier League's leading goalscorer. The Egyptian has emphatically responded to his doubters in England since joining Liverpool from Roma in the off-season, but perhaps the crowning moment of 12 months came on the international stage. Salah scored the goals to send Egypt to the World Cup for the first time since 1990 - and boy did it celebrate!
All-action full-back Marcelo has again confirmed his status as one of modern football's best defenders in 2017. The Brazilian was an almost ever-present as Real Madrid secured a first LaLiga title in five years and won a third Champions League in four seasons with a 4-1 win over Juventus.
David de Gea seized Manuel Neuer's stint on the sideline to further lay claim to the title of the world's best goalkeeper. The Manchester United man was in career-best form throughout 2017, making countless top-class saves and winning his fourth selection in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.