With the 2021 Ballon d'Or ceremony less than a week away, it's business as usual for the world's best players.
Robert Lewandowski sent out a late warning to his competitors by scoring an outrageous overhead kick in the Champions League on Tuesday night. A few hours later, N'Golo Kante and Jorginho put on a midfield masterclass as Chelsea demolished Juventus 4-0.
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi will return to action on Wednesday, with the Manchester City vs PSG game promising to be a blockbuster affair. Mohamed Salah's Liverpool, meanwhile, will look to continue their perfect group stage record.
Several 2021 Ballon d'Or candidates have already spoken about their chances
Ahead of the grand ceremony, which will be held on November 29, nearly all of the top five players on our latest Ballon d'Or Power Rankings have expressed their thoughts on the award.
On that note, here's what five of this year's Ballon d'Or favourites have said regarding their chances of winning the accolade:
#5 Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Although Kylian Mbappe is sixth in our latest Ballon d'Or power rankings, Mohamed Salah, who is ranked fourth, hasn't commented on his chances yet.
While many players choose to play down the importance of the Ballon d'Or award, Mbappe has made it no secret that he wishes to win it at during his career.
"The first collective goal is to win the biggest trophies. But the Ballon d'Or is a goal for any player who aspires to be the best. And I am one of them. But it's too presumptuous to talk about it," said Mbappe in May this year.
The French star was asked about his chances of winning this year's Ballon d'Or award after PSG's thrilling Champions League win over RB Leipzig earlier this year. Mbappe had no hesitation in endorsing his teammate Lionel Messi for the 2021 Ballon d'Or.
"It's a privilege to play with him (Lionel Messi), and it would be fully deserved if he won the Ballon d’Or," said Mbappe.
#4 Jorginho (Chelsea)
Jorginho's presence amongst the favourites for the 2021 Ballon d'Or award understandably caused intense debate in the football community. However, the Italian international has been refreshingly honest while talking about his chances.
The Chelsea midfielder admits that he isn't on the same level as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in terms of talent and goalscoring. However, he also made a crucial point that it is time the Ballon d'Or began recognising excellence across the pitch and not just focus on forwards.
"How could I compare myself to Messi, Neymar or Cristiano Ronaldo? They've got completely different characteristics to me. But, I repeat, it depends on the criteria. It’s not up to me to say if I should win the Ballon d’Or, but it would be an incentive for other players, to show that not only goals are taken into account," said the Chelsea and Italy star.
The criteria for winning the Ballon d'Or award has become increasingly inconsistent over the years, with trophies given more importance than individual statistics.
Jorginho pointed out that he has won the two biggest trophies of the season, Euro 2020 with Italy and the Champions League, which makes him a bonafide contender.
"We all have dreams. But, I'll be honest, it depends on the criteria that the decision is based on. If we're talking about talent then I know I'm not the best in the world. But if it's going on titles, then nobody has won more than I have this season," he added.
It remains to be seen if the Euro 2020 and Champions League winner lands his first Ballon d'Or award this year.