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It's that time of the year when we release our definitive index of the best 50 footballers on the planet. Find out more on how you can get involved...



The Goal.com 50 is back! On August 6 and 7, we will be bringing you our comprehensive list of the top 50 players on the planet based on their achievements and performances over the 2011-12 season.

For the fifth consecutive year, our global team of editors and football experts will vote on their best players of last term, taking into consideration club and international form.

PAST WINNERS OF GOAL.COM 50
 2008 - CRISTIANO RONALDO
The Portuguese star netted 42 goals playing predominantly as a winger. His sensational displays helped Manchester United to a Premier League & Champions League double.
 2009 - LIONEL MESSI
The brilliant Argentine enjoyed a tremendous year. Scored in the Champions League final win over Manchester United, signalling the start of Barca's era of dominance.
 2010 - WESLEY SNEIJDER
Guided Jose Mourinho's Inter to a historic treble success. Then, helped Netherlands to the World Cup final. A stunning individual display beat Brazil in the last eight.
 2011 - LIONEL MESSI
Scored 53 goals as brilliant Barca won La Liga & the Champions League. Again tormented United in the final, this time producing the masterclass at Wembley.
Lionel Messi claimed last season's award for inspiring Barcelona to a Liga and Champions League double, and will no doubt be a contender for the No.1 spot again after a record-breaking season at Camp Nou.

Speaking after winning the award, the attacker exclusively told Goal.com: "To win the Goal.com 50 makes me proud and honoured."

"This makes me very happy and gives me more strength to continue working with humility for my club and my beloved national team. Thank you very much."

Wesley Sneijder emerged victorious the year before for his stunning debut campaign at Inter while also helping Netherlands reach the 2010 World Cup final.

Unsurprisingly, the Dutch international was delighted to be crowned the top player of the 2010 Goal.com 50.

"I am really proud to have won this award, especially because it means I have done well for Inter and the national team. I'm happy," the playmaker told Goal.com.

"I must confess that if I won this prize, the credit goes to all my team-mates who helped me this year, so I split it with them. The whole team deserves it.

"I thank all those who voted for me and all those working at Goal.com."

It was Messi again in 2009 as the mercurial Argentine starred in Barca's triple-trophy campaign.

And in 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo picked up the inaugural crown for his superb season with Manchester United, in which Sir Alex Ferguson's men secured the Premier League and Champions League titles.

Can Messi claim a hat-trick of wins? Will Ronaldo snatch the title off his Clasico rival? Or will there be a new name etched on the award?

We are also welcoming plenty of discussion on the competition via Twitter, so remember to use the #Goal50 and let us know your top five.

We also want to hear your suggestions for the Goal.com 50 crown and the reasons why you believe that individual is a worthy winner, so let us know in the comments box below.

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