While some players ascend to the very top of the food chain, the majority fall by the way side in their journey to the top. But there are those few who stand out above the rest, protective of their territory and supremely dominant when it comes to fending off prospective challengers.
Though the concept of a footballing shark may sound unusual, it fits perfectly into a sport where only the most competitive and ruthless will succeed.
Over the years we have seen some mercurial talents dominate the beautiful game. Here, we take a look at six of the biggest sharks occupying the football ocean today.
Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
Undoubtedly one of the greatest talents in football, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar continues to set the world alight.
Residing in the Messi's shadow at Barcelona for a number of years, he decided to venture into new waters and depart for the French capital last summer. The €222m world record signing is now seen as the leading talisman for both club and country, constantly being relied upon for his genius and inspiration.
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Regarded as one of the most clinical finishers in the world, Tottenham striker Harry Kane has taken to international stardom like a shark to water.
His meteoric rise has helped Spurs elevate themselves into genuine Premier League title contenders, with his striking instincts and predatory ruthlessness in front of goal demonstrating genuine world class ability.
The 24-year-old has flourished on the biggest stage of them all most recently, bagging six goals in England's World Cup campaign as he captured the prestigious Golden Boot.
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
When you talk about longevity and continued dominance at the top of the game, you need not look past Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos.
The tough tackling defender has starred at the summit of world football ever since he joined Los Blancos in 2005, with his accomplishments ranking alongside some of the greatest to ever play the game.
Talent has played a part, but Ramos' fearsome instincts and ruthless defensive style have helped him become one of the most iconic players in world football.
Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Few would argue that Barcelona and Uruguay striker Luis Suarez remains one of the most clinical front men in world football.
Brimming with talent, he has the unenviable task of playing alongside Lionel Messi, so it's not hard to see why Suarez might have felt marginalized at the Nou Camp. Look deeper though and you'll find an insatiable hunger for success, driven by a sheer determination to win.
Suarez epitomises the hunger, determination and genius required to remain on top for a prolonged period of time and an ability to deliver on the world stage time and time again.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
One half of quite possibly the greatest duo to ever play the game, Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has quite simply got it all.
Ronaldo has demonstrated over the past 15 years a quite unbelievable ability to lead from the front. From leading Portugal to Euro 2016 success, to steering Real Madrid to an unprecedented three successive Champions League crowns, Ronaldo truly embodies the characteristics of an apex predator.
Fiercely competitive to be the best, unrelenting in his quest to improve, with a win at all costs mentality - we will quite possibly never see another player as supremely dominant as Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
The ying to Ronaldo's yang is Lionel Messi. Widely regarded as the most complete player of all time, Messi has led a generation of Barcelona teams to unparalleled success in Spain, with an incomparable grace and elegance.
His unbelievable talent on the ball, movement and dictation of the game almost has to be seen to be believed, but it's his self-confidence and predatory instinct to remain the best player that is perhaps his most hidden genius asset.
Quite simply, Messi's brilliance has placed a target on his back throughout his career. But as all great, dominant apex predators do, they find a way to win and raise the bar in the process. The Argentine has been at the pinnacle for so long, he is the absolute gold standard and is considered by many trusted voices as the greatest player, ever.
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