Pep Guardiola does not believe two players will ever dominate the Ballon d'Or in tandem as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have done.
Guardiola’s years in Barcelona saw some of the pair’s best football as they faced off in Spain in pursuit of Liga titles and Champions League victories.
Over the past 12 years, 11 of the Ballon d’Or awards have been won by one or the other of the duo.
Messi absent for Argentina qualifiers as Coronavirus 'hit him hard'
- Lingard U-turn and 'fresh starts' for Sancho, Van de Beek after Solskjaer exit - Inside Football
- Parker: Lewandowski leads the way for Ballon d'Or, but this could be the old guard's swansong
- Messi: 'I would love to come back' to Barcelona
Both are on the list of nominees for the 2021 award, having moved on from Spain - Ronaldo is back at United again via Juventus, and Messi left Barcelona this summer to switch to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
Both players are into their mid-thirties now and others are expected to step into the limelight, including when the Ballon d’Or is handed out in future. Guardiola does not expect such a duopoly to come through again in his lifetime.
"I don't imagine [it will happen]. What these two guys have done, it will be almost impossible to imitate," he said.
“Maybe I will see it but I don't think it's going to happen - scoring this amount of goals, the amount of titles both had done. It is so difficult. I think it is unique in history to find two players like Cristiano and Messi do what they have done."
This year’s award will be announced on Monday 29 November.
Critics of Messi 'know nothing about football', says Karim Benzema
'I didn't expect to have this lead' - Guardiola not worried by City draw,