Before we go any further, let's address the elephant in the room: Erling Haaland is not in the running.
Yes, the 20-year-old has scored 17 times in as many Bundesliga games this season, and yes, with eight goals, he is currently the top scorer in the Champions League.
However, while Borussia Dortmund have the upper hand in their last-16 tie against Sevilla, the German giants are still very much in the UCL's underdog category. And a disastrous domestic campaign could even see them fail to qualify for a UEFA competition next season.
Add to that, Norway are not going to Euro 2020.
Now let's move on...
1) Kylian Mbappe
A hat-trick against Barcelona in the Champions League was a much-needed reboot to Kylian Mbappe's career. Mbappe is already looking odds-on to be top scorer in Ligue 1, potentially to give PSG the title once again, but that's a given.
Mbappe might even help PSG to another deep Champions League run. And there's a strong chance that his goals could give France a Euro 2020 victory. That could tip the balance in his favor in a competition run by the very Gallic 'France Football'.
2) Robert Lewandowski
The evergreen Bayern Munich striker was a dead-cert in 2020 to be just the second player to break the Messi-Ronaldo Ballon d'Or monopoly since 2008. But 'France Football' decided to bench the competition for one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This left Lewa without his deserved prize. However, another Bundesliga title, possible Champions League title, FIFA Club World Cup title and league top scorer (26 goals so far) - along with a debt owed from the previous year - could give the Polish forward the nod this year.
3) Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez has never been on the Ballon d'Or podium despite an extraordinary decade as one of the best strikers in the world. That could well be rectified if a reborn Suarez can lead Atletico Madrid to the LaLiga title, become the league's top scorer, get a decent run in the Champions League and have a strong summer in the Copa America. Two of those achievements could be enough to clinch it.
4) Illay Gundogan
Manchester City's strength might be a weakness in terms of the club producing a Ballon d'Or winner this year. Pep Guardiola's Premier League push has come from the collective, with all players chipping in at different times, rather than relying on a single star performer.
However, a possible Premier League and Champions League double will need to be reflected in the awards somehow and German midfielder, Ilkay Gundogan is currently City's MVP with 11 EPL goals and could be in the running for Euro 2020 success with Germany as well. Call him the Luka Modric of 2021.
5) Romelu Lukaku
Inter are not in any European competitions this year - something that is always a tick in the bad box for the Ballon d'Or - so winning Serie A might not be enough for Romelu Lukaku. However, the striker has a strong card to play. Serie A's top scorer has a solid chance to win Euro 2020 with Belgium and become top scorer in that competition too.
6) Cristiano Ronaldo
Along with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo has a chance for old time's sake. But it's a thin path for CR7 to equal Messi's six Ballon d'Or wins - in case that's important to him. Basically, Ronaldo will need to win two out three possible titles - Serie A or Champions League with Juventus or Euro 2020 with Portugal. For a player who times his peak form for when it matters, it's still doable. Just.
7) Karim Benzema
Another long shot for the romantics. While Benzema will be out of the running for any kind of victory with France there is a path for the Real Madrid striker to reach the podium. Drag Real Madrid single-handedly to a second LaLiga title, maybe become top scorer and at least get to the Champions League final.
8) Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Leading the previously utterly lost Milan to a Serie A title at the age of 39 could be enough to stir a few romantic hearts to finally give Zlatan some Ballon d'Or love. A Serie A-top scorer double to overcome the likes of Inter and Juventus might more than make up for a lack of Champions League or Euro 2020 action.
9) Lionel Messi
The inclusion of Messi will go back to the well-worn debate in terms of the player of the year title. Are we giving an award to the best player in the game, or the one who had the best year? Lionel Messi is still in the top three players in the world right now. Barcelona definitely aren't at the same heights and this could cost Messi a podium finish for the second time in the past four Ballon d'Or competitions.
10) Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes is already setting himself up to be the Antoine Griezmann of the Ballon d'Or with a podium finish. The Portuguese midfielder may not end up with any silverware for his club - although with Portugal it's possible - it's arguable that Fernandes is the individual to have made the biggest impact for any club in Europe over the past year.