Ask most players, and they are likely to say that recognition from peers is the highest honour one can receive. Praise from journalists who cover the matches and fans who live and die with every kick is, undoubtedly, a feather in the cap, but the appreciation of fellow footballers - the men and women you compete against every week - is unrivaled.
So while it may be derided by the masses, the announcement of the FIFA World XI - voted on by 26,478 players worldwide - is more than a simple time-filler at the governing body's pomp gala.
At least for those named to the star-studded roster.
The 2015 edition of the World XI was revealed Monday at the annual Ballon d'Or ceremony, and while the list was highlighted by a pair of familiar faces in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, there were first-time appearances for two players who figure to be mainstays for years to come.
Here are the results:
View a complete rundown of the last 10 editions of the World XI here.